On the night of 15 February 2021, militants fired a total of 14 rockets toward a U.S. military base at Erbil International Airport (ORER/EBL) and multiple other areas of Erbil, the capital of the northern Kurdistan region. Three of the rockets landed inside the airport grounds, while at least one other landed in the nearby Naz City neighborhood. A civilian contractor was killed in the attack. In addition, a U.S. soldier and eight civilian contractors were wounded. Authorities closed the airport and roads leading to the facility overnight on 15-16 February following the attack; however, flights at the airport are operating as normal as of the afternoon of 16 February. A Shiite militant group called Saraya Awliya al-Dam claimed responsibility for the attack.

Analyst Comment: While militant groups — particularly groups linked to Iran — routinely fire rockets toward U.S. military bases and diplomatic facilities in central and southern Iraq, such attacks in Kurdish-majority northern Iraq are rare. The latest attack in Erbil is the first such event to occur in the city since September 2020.