U.S. troops “mistakenly” opened fire in an Iraqi Kurdish neighborhood on Monday.
“At 10:00 PM [on May 9], the [U.S.] force was conducting practice specialized for shooting down drones, and that is why the bullets landed in the center of Basrma district, and the security forces arrived at the scene of the incident,” Jangawar Azhgayi, Shaqlawa's director of the Basrma district, told Rudaw Media Network.
Projectiles believed to have been launched by the U.S. military penetrated 11 houses and one motorized vehicle located in Basrma, Azhgayi revealed, noting that no injuries have been reported in connection with the incident. “The bullets hit my house, my brother's house, windows, doors, everything. We were all at home, but thanks to God, we're safe,” Rudaw reported an unnamed eyewitness to say.
The U.S. Army and Air Force jointly manage Al-Harir Air Base as part of “Operation Inherent Resolve,” which is the U.S. military's effort to beat the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) terror group “with and through regional partners” of Iraq and Syria, as per the U.S Department of Defense. The airfield is situated 13 miles northeast of Shaqlawa, which is 20 miles northeast of Erbil. Erbil serves as the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
Rudaw's English news site published on May 10 that it had “repeatedly reached out to Operation Inherent Resolve's press desk and the US Department of Defense for comment on the [May 9 Shaqlawa] incident, but as yet has had no response… Despite Rudaw English submitting a question, [U.S.] Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby did not address the event during his Tuesday [May 10] briefing at the Pentagon.”
On May 10, Rudaw shared two photos on its Twitter account, which appear to be Shaqlawa civilian structures smashed by bullet holes on May 9.
Iran's state-owned Mehr News Agency reported on the incident on May 10, stating, “Arab media reported on Monday night [May 9] that heavy gunfire was heard at al-Harir Airport in Erbil province in northern Iraq.”
It is expected that the U.S. military plans to keep its troops in Iraq and Syria despite the general decrease in its operations in neighboring countries to combat ISIS (from approximately 2014 to 2021) due to the fact that the international militant organization “continued to constitute a security threat” across the nations “despite no longer holding territory in Iraq and Syria,” Rudaw quoted the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, Dana Stroul, as saying on April 6.