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ISIS Claims Credit for Attack at U.S. Consulate in Erbil

On Twitter, ISIS is claiming credit for the car bomb attack today outside the U.S. embassy in Erbil. They say it was done by fighters in their Kirkuk division.

According to McClatchy:

A Kurdish security official told McClatchy that three attackers approached a checkpoint near the consulate in an SUV apparently with the intention of attacking it on foot to make room for a suicide bomber, who was either on foot or in the car. They were spotted by peshmerga security forces stationed outside the consulate, who opened fire. The security official said the three attackers were killed, though whether they were killed by gunshots or detonated explosives was unclear.

More photos here. [More...]

The heavily guarded facility, which houses diplomats and a military command center used to coordinate the air campaign led by the United States against the Islamic State, is located in a quiet residential and predominantly Christian section of the Kurdish capital. It’s accessible only through a heavily guarded pedestrian entrance.

This is ISIS' first attack on a U.S. facility in Iraq.

The U.S. says no American personnel were killed or injured. A western couple at a restaurant across the street are reportedly among the victims.

Reports say 5 were killed. There were three ambulances at the scene. At least one Peshmerga guard was taken away in one. The photos show a lot of destruction.

The FBI has reportedly flown into Erbil and is investigating.

More here.

When Obama announced the airstrikes, he specifically mentioned attacks on U.S.facilities such as Erbil could result in ground troops in Iraq. Was ISIS trying to provoke the U.S. into sending them?

In related news, Iraq is claiming to have killed Saddam ex official Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri in an attack near Tikrit. This has not yet been confirmed, although news photos of the dead man look a lot like him.

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