Kurdistan - Erbil - travel advice in the light of rocket attacks against the airport
Multiple rockets have struck outside the international airport in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. It is not immediately clear if a military base housing United States troops near the airport was the target of the attack this evening. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
All roads to the airport have been closed and all flights have been temporarily suspended.
At least two civilians were wounded and material damage was caused to cars and other property. Local news outlet Rudaw quoted a statement by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s interior ministry as saying that “a number of rockets hit Erbil and surrounding areas”, adding some people were wounded.
The airport was reportedly shut down and flights were halted for safety issues and the security forces have launched an investigation, calling on people to stay home.
Iran-backed militia groups have been blamed for orchestrating the attacks, including the Kataib Hezbollah group. In October 2020, these groups agreed to an indefinite truce, but there have been several apparent violations since then, the most recent of which prior to Monday night was a volley of rockets targeting the US embassy on 20 December 2020.
RPS Partnership recommends that any travel planned to the Kurdish capital is delayed until further notice and any travellers in Erbil wishing to leave should plan to stay where they are at present, until there is more information available from local sources.
Source of information with thanks to Al Jazeera and news agencies.
Photos: RPS Partnership in Erbil 2020.