Iraqi militia claims drone attack on Erbil airport

Iraqi militia claims drone attack on Erbil airport
Saraya Awliya al-Dam claimed it had killed 'Zionists' in the attack on Erbil International Airport, but the US-led Coalition said there had been no casualties
2 min read
07 July, 2021
Erbil International Airport was struck using an explosive-laden drone on Tuesday night [Getty]

A militia has claimed responsibility for a drone attack on an airport hosting US troops in Iraqi Kurdistan on Tuesday night.

Saraya Awliya al-Dam, or the Guardians of Blood Brigades, released a statement after the attack on Erbil International Airport, claiming it had caused deaths of "Zionists", a statement from the brigade carried by Sabereen News said.

However, the US-led Coalition said that the attack caused no injuries, casualties, or damage.

Saraya Awliya al-Dam, believed to be linked to the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, has previously claimed responsibility for an attack on Erbil.

It said it fired over a dozen rockets on the airport and in the city back in February. However, in confessions extracted by Kurdish intelligence, the suspected perpetrators said they belonged to Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, an Iran-backed militia group.

Local officials have been left reeling after three sites of US interest in the country were hit in just two days.

In addition to the attack on Erbil, a drone flying over the US Embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone on Monday night was shot down, while the Ain al-Asad base in Anbar, western Iraq was hit by three rockets earlier on the same day. 

The head of the UN’s mission in Iraq condemned the strikes.

"These constant attacks, last night again in Erbil, are an affront to the rule of law. Such acts are pushing the country towards the unknown, with the Iraqi people potentially paying a high price. The legitimacy of the State must not be threatened by callous armed actors," Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said.

A high-level Iraqi security delegation visited Ain al-Asad on Tuesday to discuss potential new measures to boost security at the frequently attacked base, state media said.

The US-led Coalition vowed support for Iraqi Kurdistan after the attack on Erbil’s airport.

A Coalition commander met with Iraqi Kurdish officials earlier on the day of the drone attack to discuss cooperation on counter-terrorism