The United Nations warns of the situation getting out of control after the attack in Erbil

 The United Nations warned Tuesday that the situation in Iraq would get out of control after a missile attack at night targeting an air base in Kurdistan housing American soldiers, which caused the killing of a foreign civilian contractor and wounding other Iraqis and foreigners among them. An American military.

The attack was the first to target Western military or diplomatic facilities in Iraq in nearly two months, as the last attack dates back to mid-December, when missiles exploded near the US embassy in Baghdad.

The representative of the United Nations in Iraq, Jeanine Hennes-Plasschaert, denounced in a tweet what she described as "heinous and reckless acts", saying that they "constitute a serious threat to stability."

It called for "restraint and close cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil to bring the perpetrators to justice."

A government spokesman told AFP that Erbil airport had resumed its usual flight schedule at noon (09:00 GMT), after it was closed during the morning for flights.

Nariman Muhammad, 51, a resident of Erbil, said, "This bombing definitely affected us, endangering our lives." "I don't see any sense of all this, we are human beings too and we want to live," she added.

The attack appears to have targeted a military complex at Erbil airport where foreign forces belonging to the US-led international coalition are stationed to support Iraq in combating the jihadists.

However, rockets also fell in residential neighborhoods, according to the city's health department, which reported that five civilians were wounded.

Coalition spokesman Wayne Maruto confirmed to AFP on Tuesday that three missiles struck the airport, killing a foreign civilian employee, but not an American.

Nine other people were wounded, including eight US civilian and military personnel, according to Maruto.

On Monday evening, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken condemned the "missile attack," pledging to "hold those responsible accountable."

He added that he had contacted the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, to confirm "full" American support for an investigation into the attack.

And accused the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party in the region, "a deviant group outlaw disguised under the cloak of the popular crowd and its capabilities, privileges and clothing" of carrying out the attack, according to a statement reported by the party's website.

For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi considered that "the terrorist act that targeted the Kurdistan region aims to create chaos and shuffle the cards," vowing to "keep the country away from conflicts and that Iraq will not be a back garden for it," according to the Iraqi News Agency.

Al-Kazemi declared that he had directed a joint investigation between the federal government and the regional government to arrest the criminals.

Two security sources confirmed to AFP that the attack was launched from inside the Iraqi Kurdistan.

A group calling itself the "Awliya al-Dam Brigades" claimed the missile attack on Erbil.

However, security officials told AFP that the name of this group is just a "front" for well-known armed factions loyal to Iran that want the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq, such as the "Hezbollah Brigades" and "Asaib Ahl al-Haq."

Iran condemned the missile attack on Erbil, denying any involvement in it.

And Western military and diplomatic installations in Iraq began to be targeted since the fall of 2019 with missiles, but most of these attacks are focused in the capital, Baghdad.

At dawn on January 8, 2020, Tehran fired missiles at the bases of Ain Al-Assad (west) and Erbil (north), where a number of American soldiers are stationed in Iraq, in response to the assassination of the commander of the Quds Force in the Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Soleimani, by an American strike near Baghdad Airport.

Since then, missiles have repeatedly targeted the US embassy in the Iraqi capital, and US and Iraqi officials have attributed these attacks to pro-Iranian factions.

In October, the United States threatened that it would close its embassy in Baghdad if the missile attacks continued, prompting militant factions to agree to a permanent truce.

Since Iraq declared victory over ISIS in late 2017, the international coalition has reduced the number of its forces in Iraq to below 3,500 personnel, including 2,500 American soldiers.

Most of the foreign forces are stationed in the military complex at Erbil airport, according to a source in the coalition.



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