Biden administration won’t rule out retaliation for rocket attack in Iraq

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A employee cleans shattered glass on February 16, 2021 outdoors a broken store following a rocket assault the earlier evening in Arbil, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous area.

Safin Hamed | AFP | Getty Photographs

The Biden administration on Tuesday wouldn’t rule out potential retaliation towards these behind Monday’s lethal rocket assault in Iraq.

The assault within the metropolis of Irbil within the Kurdistan area killed one civilian contractor and injured 9 extra folks, together with a U.S. service member, in line with U.S. Military Col. Wayne Marotto, spokesman for the coalition preventing ISIS.

At the least three rockets hit close to the civilian Irbil Worldwide Airport late Monday evening, Kurdish safety sources advised NBC Information. A close-by base homes U.S. troops.

The Biden administration stated it might wait to seek out out who was answerable for the assault earlier than deciding how one can react.

“The president of the US and the administration reserves the correct to reply in a well timed method of our selecting,” White Home press secretary Jen Psaki advised reporters Tuesday throughout a information briefing, shortly earlier than providing condolences to the deceased.

“However we’ll watch for the attribution to be concluded first earlier than we take any extra steps. I’ll convey to you that diplomacy is a precedence with this administration,” she added.

Psaki stated the US was finishing up an investigation to find out who was behind the assault.

State Division spokesman Ned Value stated Tuesday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the Kurdistan area’s prime minister, Masrour Barzani, on the heels of the assault. Value additionally stated that the highest U.S. diplomat talked to Iraq’s prime minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, on Tuesday.

“As soon as we now have recognized a perpetrator, then it might be extra acceptable to look into the motive,” Value stated when requested a couple of doable U.S. response.

Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin additionally spoke on Tuesday to Iraqi Minister of Protection Jumaah Saadoon to debate the assault. The Pentagon stated the officers reaffirmed their dedication to the strategic partnership between the US and Iraq.

In 2019, the U.S. attributed a rocket assault on a navy base close to Kirkurk to Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia group. The assault triggered a U.S. response which killed a high Iranian common, Qasem Soleimani.

Monday’s assault comes because the world’s strongest navy alliance, NATO, meets just about Wednesday and Thursday to debate the following steps in Iraq.

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