British foreign minister Dominic Raab on Tuesday took to social media to criticize an attack on US-led forces based in Iraq. This attack took place on Monday. It killed a civilian contractor and also injured a member of the US military who was stationed there as well as nine other people. It was the deadliest rocket attack in the area in almost a year.
In his tweet, Raab wrote, “Last night’s attack on (coalition) forces and civilians in Erbil were outrageous & unacceptable. Iraqis won’t forgive militias putting Iraq’s stability at risk. My thoughts are with those injured. (The) UK stands fully behind (Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi) & (Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani) to hold perpetrators to account.”
Raab would later go on to issue a joint statement with his counterparts from France, Italy, the United States, and Germany. This joint statement also condemned the same rocket attack.
The statement released by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, and Raab read: “We the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America condemn in the strongest terms the February 15 rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. We offer our condolences to the victims, their families, and the Iraqi people. Together, our governments will support the Government of Iraq’s investigation into the attack with a view to holding accountable those responsible. We are united in our view that attacks on US and Coalition personnel and facilities will not be tolerated.”
Last year, Raab also criticized a similar attack in Iraq which killed a British soldier. This attack also killed two American soldiers and wounded 12 other personnel members. The attack took place at Camp Taji, an air base located around 27 kilometres from Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad. It was the first time that a British serviceperson died because of an enemy attack since the UK and its allies commenced an operation against the Islamic State in 2014.
Stephen Hickey, the UK’s Ambassador to Iraq, was equally vocal in his condemnation of the attack. He tweeted, “(I strongly) condemn the attack on the city of Erbil and Coalition forces last night. I extend my condolences to the family of the civilian contractor who was killed.” Hickey also called upon the authorities to properly deal with the perpetrators. In the same tweet, he went on to pledge his support for Al-Kadhimi and Barzani in their investigation efforts.
Key figures from Kuwait, Jordan, and Bahrain also spoke out against the attacks, as did the Gulf Cooperation Council.
17th February 2021 15:24
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