World, Middle East

Iraq: Erbil airport resumes flights after drone attack

Military section of airport where US-led coalition forces are deployed targeted in attack, says Interior Ministry

Ali Jawad and Bekir Aydogan   | 14.04.2021
Iraq: Erbil airport resumes flights after drone attack

BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq

Flights operations resumed on Thursday at the Erbil International Airport in northern Iraq after a few hours of disruption following a drone attack late the day before.

Iraq's Erbil airport targeted by missile

ERBIL, IRAQ - APRIL 14: Ambulances and security officials are being sent to the site after the Erbil International Airport in northern Iraq was targeted by a missile, the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government's (IKRG)’s security officials said late Wednesday, on April 14, 2021 in Erbil, Iraq. The airport was hit by at least one rocket, the region's counter-terrorism unit said in a statement. An explosion was also heard near the area, and an investigation into the incident has been launched, according to the IKRG's Interior Ministry. ( Ahsan Mohammed Ahmed Ahmed - Anadolu Agency )

No casualties have been reported, although a warehouse suffered damage, it added.

"Aviation in Erbil International Airport has resumed on Thursday morning after a halt for few hours after the attack," said Nozad Hasan, a local police officer.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered an investigation into the attack, according to a statement by his military spokesman Yehia Rasul.

"Some people are trying to create chaos and destabilize security and stability. This is rejected and will be faced by the force of law and solidarity of the Iraqi people," Rasool said.

On Wednesday, the Interior Ministry of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said an explosive-laden drone targeted a central command for the US-led International Coalition inside the airport, causing material damages.

Threat to Iraq's national interests

KRG President Nechirvan Barzani condemned the attack in a Twitter post.

He said the strike on the airport, as well as a rocket attack on a military compound in northern Iraq's Bashiqa region earlier in the day, would lead to more tension and instability in the country and threaten Iraq's national interests at the highest level.

Barzani also pointed out the importance of international cooperation and coordination to combat the groups behind such attacks.

Condemning the attack on the Bashiqa military base, Aydin Maruf, the KRG's minister responsible for ethnic and religious groups, who is also an executive committee member of the Iraqi Turkmen Front, offered his condolences for a Turkish soldier who was martyred in the incident.

Noting that the recent attacks are considered a clear threat to the region, Maruf pointed out that the illegal groups carrying them out targeted Erbil and the security and political stability of the region.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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