The rocket attack on the Erbil Air Base in Iraq is a test case for the Biden Administration. At least 14 missiles were fired at the airbase late Monday night, killing one foreign contractor and injuring five Americans. Out of 14, three missiles hit the facilities where the U.S troops are based in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
Guardians of the Blood Brigade, a relatively unknown Iraqi militia group took responsibility for the deadly attack. It has claimed that the attack was carried out in protest against the American occupation of the region. The airport of the city has been shut down after the attack.
The U.S Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said, “we are outraged by today’s attack”. The State Department spokesperson, Ned Price also condemned the attack and offered condolences to the loved ones of the deceased contractor.
The latest attack has raised instability in the region, as the possible involvement of Iran in the attack is being echoed across the world. This might increase the tension between Tehran and Washington, amidst working out an acceptable nuclear deal.
In December 2019, a similar kind of attack was carried out on the K1 base near Kirkuk, thereby escalating tensions between the two countries. It had triggered protests, followed by a deadly airstrike by the US killing top Irani general, Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Iran had retaliated against the airstrike by officially firing almost a dozen ballistic missiles at two of the US airbases in Iraq.
Antony Blinken has spoken with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and condemned the attacks. He further claimed that this matter will be resolved in accordance with the wishes of the Iraqi partners.
The White House and the State Department are assessing the situation. They hold the right to respond to the attacks at the time and place as per their choice. They plan to address the matter before giving a befitting response to this direct attack.