Rockets hit Kurdish capital in northern Iraq, with no casualties, officials say


ERBIL, Iraq, March 13 (Reuters) – Several rockets landed in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on Sunday, Kurdish officials said, but added there was no of confirmed casualties so far since the incident.

A US official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that there were no US military casualties caused by the attack. Few other details were immediately available.

In the past, US forces stationed at the Erbil International Airport complex have been the target of rocket and drone attacks that US officials blame on Iran-aligned militias, but no such attack has been happening for several months.

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Kurdish officials did not immediately say where Saturday’s incident took place. A regional authority spokesman said there were no flight disruptions at Erbil airport.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Residents of Erbil uploaded videos showing several large explosions, and some said the blasts rocked their homes. Reuters could not independently verify these videos.

A Kurdish regional government spokesman said there were no casualties.

Iraq has been rocked by chronic instability since the defeat of the Sunni Islamist group Islamic State in 2017 by a loose coalition of Iraqi forces, led by the United States and supported by Iran.

Since then, Iran-aligned militias have regularly attacked US military and diplomatic sites in Iraq, the US and multiple Iraqi officials said. Iran denies any involvement in these attacks.

Iraqi political parties, most of which have armed wings, are also embroiled in tense talks over forming a government after October’s elections. Shiite militia groups close to Iran privately warn that they will resort to violence if they are excluded from any ruling coalition.

The groups’ main political enemies include their powerful Shiite rival, populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has vowed to form a government that excludes Iran’s allies and includes Kurds and Sunnis.

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Iraq Office Reports; Additional reporting by Yasmin Hussein and Ahmed Tolba in Cairo and Phil Stewart in Washington; Written by John Davison in Baghdad; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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