On the evening of the 15th of February, 2021 rockets hit a residential area outside of the Erbil airport, the capital of the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. BIC condemns the attacks on international coalition forces, noting with concern the impact that this attack has on the geopolitical tensions playing out in Iraq. This rocket attack, which was carried out by a new militia group, Awliyaa al-Dam, or Guardians of Blood is the deadliest attack on international forces since 2019. The attack specifically targeted international coaltion and American forces, incentivized by the revenge for the groups’s leaders, referencing Soleimani and al-Muhandis.
BIC’s Middle East Analyst Elisa Cherry says: “The ongoing hostilities that are being carried out by Iranian proxies continue to escalate tenstions in the region. The similarities to this attack and the one of late 2019 could result in hostile reprecussions for international forces operating in Iraq, as tensions between Iran and the United States (and international community more broadly) are heightened once again. This attack, the first of 2021 will be a test for the new Biden administration and to the international community.”