Biden is "outraged" by Erbil attack

Biden is "outraged" by Erbil attack

Shafaq News/The White House said on Tuesday that the Biden administration is still working to determine who is responsible for a rocket attack on US-led forces in Erbil that killed a civilian contractor on Monday and injured a US service member.

Speaking at a White House briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki said "we're still working through attribution with our Iraqi partners to determine precise attribution for this attack," she said, noting that the administration was "outraged" by it.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a phone conversation with his Iraq counterpart Jumaah Saadoon on Tuesday that he condemns the latest attack on a US airbase in Erbil, the Defense Department announced in a readout of the conversation on Tuesday.

"Secretary Austin condemned yesterday's attack against US and Coalition forces in Iraq, and expressed condolences to the Iraqi people," the readout said. "Secretary Austin and Minister Saadoon also both expressed condolences for the US service member who was injured in the attack."

Austin and Saadoon also reiterated their commitment to the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq, the readout said.

On Monday, a dozen rockets hit the Erbil Air Base in Iraqi Kurdistan, killing a civilian contractor and hurting nine other people. A Shiite militant group reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack was the first on a Western military or diplomatic facility in Iraq in nearly two months, following a spate of rocket strikes in Baghdad in late 2020.

Iran has denied the accusations by Iraqi officials that Tehran played a role in Monday's rocket strike, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

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