The Pentagon will provide US President Joe Biden and his administration several options to respond to the rocket attack on a US military base in Iraq’s Erbil, a Pentagon official said Tuesday.
According to the US-led coalition, a barrage of 14 rockets was fired at the US base. Three hit the base, killing one civilian contractor and nine others were injured, the coalition said.
The civilian contractor was not a US citizen, something which the Pentagon was quick to note.
“It’s necessary to take into account that the person who was killed was not a US citizen and the previous formula that an American killed would require a response,” was not the case in Monday’s attack, the official told Al Arabiya.
But the US is in close contact with Iraqi officials who are investigating what happened. “The Pentagon is giving the Iraqi government time to investigate what occurred and who is responsible for the attack,” the official said.
Based on the investigation results, the US would then offer Biden “various” options and ways to respond.
“There will be a US stance based on the results of the investigations. The US seeks to protect its troops and civilians in Iraq … which has invited Americans to be on its land,” the official said.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to his Iraqi counterpart Jumaah Saadoon where they condemned the attack.
“The Iraqi people deserve a secure and stable Iraq, and the United States remains committed to supporting our Iraqi partners in their efforts to defend Iraq’s sovereignty. Both leaders reaffirmed commitment to the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq,” a statement from Austin’s office said.
Separately Tuesday, France condemned the attack and called for finding out who was behind the attack.