Photos Reveal Damage from Deadly Rocket Attack at US Base in Iraq
Monday night's attack caught U.S. personnel in their bunks and destroyed contractor living facilities.
ERBIL, Iraq — The rockets that struck U.S. forces at a base in Erbil on Monday night destroyed a contractor living facility, killing one — U.S.-employed but not a citizen — and wounding four others, some American.
"You can see the mangle of bunks inside. Contractors here are shook up and sad," said Katie Bo Williams, posting on Twitter several photos of the damaged facilities.
Fourteen rockets fell on the capital of the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq, in a rare attack on the usually tranquil city claimed by an Iranian-supported militia group called Saraya Awliya al-Dam. Williams' photos of the U.S. base, located on the far end of the city's international airport, show tented structures completely burned to their metal skeletons, revealing blackened tables and bunks amid signs of a normal life shattered.
The U.S. service member who was injured in the attack suffered only "minor injury" and has returned to duty, brigade commander Col. Scott Desormeaux said in an interview. He said some of the contractors' injuries were serious enough to warrant surgery.
Williams wrote: "These folks had a matter of seconds to respond to warnings of incoming fire in an attack that took place at 9:30 at night, when at least some personnel were in their bunks. Another one of these structures looks like a destroyed break room."
"Erbil for a long time has been seen as basically safe and peaceful. So this attack has left personnel shaken — because it’s so unusual here."