US civilian contractor killed, several troops injured in rocket attack on Iraqi military base


US civilian contractor killed, several troops injured in rocket attack on Iraqi military base

The attack took place at the K1 Iraqi military base outside of Kirkuk.

December 27, 2019, 10:56 PM

4 min read

One U.S. civilian contractor was killed and several service members were wounded in a rocket attack targeting a military base in northern Iraq on Friday, according to the U.S. military.

The attack took place at approximately 7:20 p.m. local time at Iraq’s K1 military base — which houses U.S. and coalition forces — outside the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Several Iraqi personnel were also wounded.

“Iraqi Security Forces are leading the response and investigation,” said a statement from Operation Inherent Resolve, the name of the U.S.-led mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The U.S. military does not reveal the identity of American contractors killed during overseas deployments.

Reuters reported on Friday that security forces had found a launchpad for Katyusha rockets inside an abandoned vehicle near the base.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, ISIS is known to operate a small insurgency in the area. But earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed a recent series of attacks on Iraqi bases on Iranian proxies.

In a strongly worded statement, Pompeo warned that U.S. troops are co-located on these bases with Iraqi Security Forces and that any attack by Iran or its proxies that “harm Americans, our allies, or our interests will be answered with a decisive U.S. response.”

“We must also use this opportunity to remind Iran’s leaders that any attacks by them, or their proxies of any identity, that harm Americans, our allies, or our interests will be answered with a decisive U.S. response,” Pompeo said on Dec. 13.

He added, “Iran must respect the sovereignty of its neighbors and immediately cease its provision of lethal aid and support to third parties in Iraq and throughout the region.”

There are approximately 5,000 U.S. troops currently deployed in Iraq.

ABC News’ Conor Finnegan contributed to this report.


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