"Erbil is calm, no immediate threats"

Increased military aviation activity in Erbil skies amid recent attacks

ERBIL, 6 January — Unusual military aviation activity has been noted in the skies over Erbil since last night, with frequent sightings and sounds of aircraft. A security source indicated that this is a precautionary measure by the coalition forces to protect their military bases in the Kurdistan Region.

Witnesses reported hearing loud aircraft noises last night and even more so tonight. Several military helicopters, including larger Chinook helicopters used by the U.S. forces for transportation, have been spotted, particularly around the Harir airbase, which houses international coalition forces against ISIS.

The security source, requesting anonymity, assured 964media that “Erbil is calm, and there are no immediate threats. The military movements observed are routine measures by the coalition forces to secure their bases in the Kurdistan Region.”

This uptick in military aviation activity comes after last night’s drone attack on the headquarters of the 12th Brigade of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Baghdad, which resulted in the death of Mushtaq Talib (Abu Taqwa), a leader in al-Nujaba group and the deputy commander of the Baghdad Belt Operations, along with others.

Today, the U.S. acknowledged its responsibility for the attack, with a Pentagon spokesperson stating, “The U.S. military took necessary action against Abu Taqwa at 12 noon Iraq time for his involvement in attacks on U.S. forces. Abu Taqwa and another individual were killed in the aerial strike.”

Additionally, today, an armed drone targeted the Harir airbase. Previously, the Kurdistan Counter-Terrorism Directorate had announced that the base was vacated by the coalition forces since October of last year.