Biden administration “outraged” by Monday’s rocket attack on American-led military coalition in Iraq

The Biden administration is “outraged” by Monday’s rocket attack on American-led military coalition in Iraq.

Multiple news outlets reported that a rocket attack on a U.S. led military base occurred on Monday in Northern Iraq, killing a civilian contractor and wounding numerous others including a United States service member.

“I will convey that we are outraged by last night’s rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Initial reports indicate that the attacks killed one civilian contractor and injured several members of the coalition, including one American service member and several American contractors,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at her regular news conference on Tuesday.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki takes questions from reporters during a press briefing Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West) 
Press Secretary Jen Psaki takes questions from reporters during a press briefing Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West)

“And we offer our condolences to the loved ones of the civilian contractor killed.  The Iraqi people have certainly suffered for far too long from this kind of violence and violation of their sovereignty,” she continued.

The White House has indicated that an investigation is being conducted into assigning blame for the attack which was the deadliest attack to hit U.S. led forces in Iraq for almost a year.

A small group with ties to Iran by the name of Saraya Awliya al-Dam has claimed responsibility for the attack but is yet to substantiate this claim.

“We’re still working through attribution with our Iraqi partners to determine precise attribution for this attack.  Obviously, that’s a priority,” said Psaki.

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, en route to New Castle County Airport in New Castle, Delaware. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz) 
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, en route to New Castle County Airport in New Castle, Delaware. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

When asked about further courses of action or retaliation, Psaki said, “the President of the United States and the administration reserves the right to respond in the time and the manner of our choosing, but we’ll wait for the attribution to be concluded first before we take any additional steps or obviously have any additional announcements.”

The Department of State and Department of Defense are working alongside the Kurdistan Regional Government to investigate the attack and “hold accountable those responsible for this attack,” said Psaki.

Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.

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