On March 3, the Directorate General of Counter Terrorism (CTD) in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region shared the confessions of a man they claimed to be one of the perpetrators behind the recent rocket attack on Erbil Airport.
In a confession video, the man, who introduced himself as 37-year old Haider Hamza al-Bayati from al-Hamdaniya in Mosul, claims that the attack was ordered by pro-Iranian Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada.
Al-Bayati said that he agreed to carry out a rocket attack on Erbil Airport following a meeting with a member of Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada last November.
Working with Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, al-Bayati bought the vehicle used in the attack and facilitated the entrance of other perpetrators to the Kurdistan Region.
— Mustafa AL Dulaimi (@Mustafa8i5r3a1v) March 3, 2021
The cell fired 14 rockets at Erbil International Airport on February 15. As a result of the attack, a civilian Iraqi contractor was killed and eight other people, including a US service member, were injured.
The CTD said that the information provided by al-Bayati was shared with the Federal Government in Baghdad as well as the US-led coalition. As a result, a second perpetrator was apprehended by Iraqi authorities.
“The number of the main perpetrators of the attack is four people … the security services are working to find the other two people in order to arrest them,” the CTD said in a statement.
The US responded to the attack on Erbil Airport with a series of strikes on Iraqi forces in the eastern Syrian governorate of Deir Ezzor. A fighter of Kata’ib Hezbollah was killed in the strikes.
The strikes on Syria failed to deter pro-Iranian forces, which carried out a similar attack on US troops at Ain Assad Air Base. An American contractor died during the attack, allegedly from a “heart attack.”
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