(Photo credit: AP)
US troops stationed at Harir Air Base in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) opened fire on a number of houses and one car in Erbil’s Basrma district on 9 May.
The Governor of Basrma, Jangawar Azhgayi, told Rudaw that US troops were conducting drills when the accident happened. He also confirmed that no casualties were reported.
“The bullets hit my house, my brother’s house, windows, doors, everything. We were all at home but, thank God, we’re safe,” an eyewitness told Rudaw, adding that the bullets even hit the refrigerator inside his brother’s house.
At least 11 houses and one vehicle were damaged by the attack. US officials have not commented on the incident.
Harir Air Base is located 70 kilometers northeast of Erbil and 115 kilometers from the Iranian border.
The base was used for the first time by US forces during their second invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Last December, the US military announced it had completed its combat mission in Iraq, saying it was transitioning to a new mission to “advise, assist, and enable” Iraqi forces that are battling ISIS.
But despite an announcement by US President Biden that Washington’s forces would withdraw from Iraq, troop presence has not been reduced, and the Pentagon has kept the same numbers of soldiers – roughly 2,500 – on the ground in “support roles.”
In March, the former head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), General Frank McKenzie said Iraqis can expect the US occupation of their country to last for years to come.
“As we look into the future, any force level adjustment in Iraq is going to be made as a result of consultations with the government of Iraq … and we just finished a strategic dialogue a few months ago – we believe that will continue,” McKenzie told Military Times on 18 March.