Iraq’s Erbil airport targeted in drone attack: Kurdish officials

No reports of casualties in the attack on the airport in northern Iraq, which serves as a base for the US-led coalition forces.

Erbil -
Erbil International Airport, pictured here in 2015, has come under attack several times in the past year, including by drones carrying explosives [File: Azad Lashkari/Reuters]

Erbil International Airport in northern Iraq has been targeted in a drone attack, Kurdish security officials said, the latest in a series of similar incidents over the past year.

The internal security service for Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, of which Erbil is the capital, initially said three rockets had hit near the airport.

A second statement by the Kurdish counterterrorism force said the attack had been carried out by explosive-laden drones.

“There are no victims in the attack carried out by two armed drones,” the statement read.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. Witnesses said they heard at least six explosions in the area.

Lawk Ghafuri, head of foreign media relations for the Kurdistan Regional Government, said on Twitter that Kurdish security forces were investigating the incident.

“The drone was carrying explosive devices, and exploded away from Erbil International Airport’s terminals and territories. No casualties are reported,” Ghafuri said.

The airport, which also serves as the base for United States-led coalition forces, suffered no damage, according to its director Ahmed Hochiar.

The US forces are leading an international military coalition whose mandate is to help Iraqi forces fight remnants of ISIL (ISIS).

The coalition did not immediately comment on Saturday’s incident.

The airport in Erbil has come under attack several times in the past year, including by drones carrying explosives.

Booby-trapped drones were launched against the airport in July but they did not cause casualties or material damage that time. A few weeks earlier, three drones targeted the airport in Baghdad, where US troops are also deployed.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies