Missiles hit Kurdish base where Dutch soldiers are on mission
At least three missiles hit near the international airport in the Kurdish city of Erbil in northern Iraq, where Dutch soldiers are stationed. One person was killed and six injured, including an American soldier, a spokesperson for the anti-ISIS coalition said to NOS. All Dutch soldiers are unharmed, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense said.
The Erbil airport is closed and no flights are arriving or leaving at this time.
Dutch soldiers have been helping to secure the airport since the end of January, protecting personnel and equipment in the inner part of the airfield. 120 Dutch soldiers are stationed there. The airport is used as a base in the fight against terrorist organization Islamic State (ISIS). There is also an American base near the airport.
The Dutch soldiers work in cooperation with American and Kurdish troops. The Kurdish troops are responsible for security at the outer edge of the airport. The Dutch soldiers are therefore not involved in the response to this incident, the Defense spokesperson said to the broadcaster.
Antony J. Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, is furious about the attack. He reached out to Masrour Barzani, the Prime Minister of Iraq’s Kurdish region, to consult with him about the attack and the investigation into those responsible.