on Wednesday 3 March, 2021

Alleged perpetrator of Erbil rocket attack says rockets were ‘Iranian made'

Reportedly the rocket launching vehicle prior to the attack. Photo: CT
by : rudaw.net

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Kurdistan Region's counterterrorism unit has published what appears to be the taped confession of one of the four alleged perpetrators of the February 15 rocket attacks on Erbil, who says the rockets were 'Iranian made'.

In the video published on the unit’s Facebook page, the alleged perpetrator introduces himself as Hayder Hamza al-Bayati from the district of Hamdaniya in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh. He says he currently lives in Erbil province’s town of Khabat.

Bayati says he met one of the other perpetrators, who he says belongs to Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, a paramilitary group part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi), in November of 2020.

“We decided to buy a Kia vehicle in order to attack Erbil airport,” said the alleged attacker in the video, detailing the lead up to the attack.

“The rockets were Iranian made,” says the man.

“When the rockets were directed at the airport, we returned to Mosul,” claims Bayati, saying the rockets were launched from near the fruit and vegetable market west of Erbil.

The counterterrorism unit says that two people were killed and seven injured in the attack, while officials have said the number of injured is as high as 13.

“We found out that the terrorist attack was carried out by four main perpetrators. We were able to arrest one of them, Hayder Hamza al-Bayati, who has confessed to the crime,” reads a statement from the unit.

“After sharing the investigation with Iraqi federal security forces and the Coalition, another perpetrator of the attack was arrested by Iraqi security forces,” it added.

The security forces are after the two remaining perpetrators, added the statement, concealing their names due to the ongoing investigation.

Certain PMF militia groups are known to target US and foreign missions in Iraq. Rocket attacks on international targets have increased over the past month.