The Kurdistan Region Ministry of Interior confirmed that “several missiles” hit the city (which, among other things, was the first stop on the Pope’s trip to Iraq in March) and said that the security services launched a “detailed investigation” and urged civilians to stay. Home until further notice. After the attack, security forces deployed around the airport and the sound of helicopters was heard on the outskirts of the city.
Since Iraq declared its victory over ISIS in late 2017, the size of the US-led coalition has shrunk to less than 3,500 soldiers, 2,500 of them Americans, most of whom are concentrated in the US military complex, Erbil Airport.
Since the end of 2019, Western military and diplomatic sites have been targeted by dozens of missiles and car bombs, which have killed foreign and Iraqi elements. Erbil has rarely been targeted, although Iranian forces attacked the airport in January 2020, just days after Major General Qassem Soleimani was killed at Baghdad airport. Former US President Donald Trump had threatened that killing an American citizen in such a missile strike would lead to a mass bombing campaign in Iraq.