The Turkish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the rocket attack targeting the Irbil airport in northern Iraq.
In a statement, the ministry said it condemns the attack, which also targeted civilians while extending condolences to the people of Irbil, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the central Iraqi government and the Global Coalition Against Daesh members.
“We believe that Iraqi authorities will immediately determine the perpetrators of the atrocious attacks and hold them accountable before the law,” the statement said.
The ministry continued by adding that such attacks target Iraq’s peace, stability and sovereignty and highlight the necessity to obstruct the existence of terrorist groups by strengthening national institutions in an extensive manner.
Late Monday, three mortars targeted the Irbil airport, one of which hit a military complex where the U.S.-led coalition troops are based. One contractor was killed and eight others, including at least two civilians, were wounded in the attacks.
The rockets damaged cars and other property, security officials said, without providing more details.
In a later statement, a little-known Iran-backed militant group calling itself the Guardians of Blood Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack. It claimed to have fired 24 rockets that avoided the airport’s defenses, specifically naming an automatic machine gun known as a C-RAM that protects American installations in Iraq.
“The American occupation will not be safe from our strikes in any inch of the homeland, even in Kurdistan, where we promise we will carry out other qualitative operations,” the claim said, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. was pledging its support for investigating the attack and holding accountable those who were responsible.
“We express our condolences to the loved ones of the civilian contractor killed in this attack, and to the innocent Iraqi people and their families who are suffering these ruthless acts of violence,” he said in a statement.
Attacks targeting Irbil airport are rare, with Monday’s rockets the first to strike the area in five months.
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