2019 K-1 Air Base attack

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2019 K-1 Airbase attack
Part of 2019–20 Persian Gulf crisis
Date27 December 2019
Time7:20 pm (GMT+3)
LocationK-1 Air Base, Kirkuk Governorate, Iraq
Coordinates35°30′45″N 044°17′03″E / 35.51250°N 44.28417°E / 35.51250; 44.28417 (K-1 AB)
Type30 rockets
MotiveTensions between Iran and the United States
TargetU.S. personnel at K-1 Air Base
Organised byDisputed (Kata'ib Hezbollah alleged by United States, denied by Kata'ib Hezbollah)
Deaths1 U.S. civilian contractor[a]
Non-fatal injuries4 U.S. service members and 2 Iraqi security forces personnel

The 2019 K-1 Air Base attack was a rocket attack on the K-1 Air Base in Kirkuk province in Iraq on 27 December 2019. The air base was one of many Iraqi military bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) personnel and was attacked by more than 30 rockets. The attack occurred during the 2019–20 Persian Gulf crisis and preceded a series of events that eventually brought Iran and the United States to the brink of open conflict.


The rocket attack killed an American civilian contractor and injured four U.S. service members and two Iraqi security forces personnel.[2] Not much of the details of the attack was made available and the names of other American military service members wounded in the attack were undisclosed, according to The New York Times. [3]

The American contractor that was killed, an Iraqi-American named Nawres Waleed Hamid from Sacramento, California, worked at the base as a linguist under the company Valiant Integrated Services. Valiant Integrated Services paid for his funeral and burial at the Greater Sacramento Muslim Cemetery, which took place on 4 January 2020, the day after his body was returned to the United States. He was a father of two.[4][5]


The U.S. blamed the Iranian-backed Kata'ib Hezbollah militia, a subgroup of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), for the attack. Kata'ib Hezbollah denied responsibility for the attack.[6] According to CNN News, an official stated that there are many similarities to 10 other rocket attacks in the past couple of months, which they have attributed to militias supported by Iran. [7] According to VOA News, a launchpad for Katyusha rockets was said to have been discovered in a deserted vehicle close to the air base by security personnel . [8] This led to a rapid series of events over the next week, starting with U.S. retaliation in Iraq and Syria, which targeted five Kata'ib Hezbollah weapon storage facilities and command and control locations in Iraq and Syria.[9][10] 25 militia members died[11] and 55 were wounded.[12]

It was followed by an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which in turn led to a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad International Airport, killing Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and PMU commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.


  1. ^ On 7 January 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that another victim of the attack died.[1]


  1. ^ "Trump Meets With Prime Minister Of Greece". NBC News. 7 January 2020.
  2. ^ Garland, Chad (28 December 2019). "American defense contractor killed, troops wounded in rocket attack on base in Kirkuk". Stripes.com. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  3. ^ "American Contractor Killed in Rocket Attack in Iraq".
  4. ^ Anita Chabria; Leila Miller; Sarah Parvani (9 January 2020). "Defense contractor from California whose death sparked U.S.-Iran conflict is mourned". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 8 January 2020.
  5. ^ Sawsan Morrar; Sam Stanton (7 January 2020). "U.S. contractor killed in Iraq, which led to strike on Iranian general, buried in Sacramento". Sacramento Bee.
  6. ^ Rubin, Alissa J.; Hubbard, Ben (30 December 2019). Fassihi, Farnaz; Hassan, Falih; Crowley, Michael (eds.). "American Airstrikes Rally Iraqis Against U.S." NY Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  7. ^ "US civilian contractor killed in rocket attack in Iraq".
  8. ^ "Officials: US Civilian Contractor Killed in Attack on Iraq Base".
  9. ^ "US strikes 5 facilities in Iraq and Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia". CNN. 29 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  10. ^ "U.S. Launches Airstrikes on Iranian-Backed Forces in Iraq and Syria". The New York Times. 29 December 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Kata'ib Hezbollah: Iraq condemns US attacks on Iran-backed militia". BBC. 30 December 2019. Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  12. ^ Ali, Idrees; Rasheed, Ahmed; Ali, Idrees; Holland, Steve (29 December 2019). Dunsmuir, Lindsay; Lange, Jason; Oliphant, James; Brown, Tom; Craft, Diane (eds.). "Trump aides call U.S. strikes on Iraq and Syria 'successful,' warn of potential further action". Reuters. The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Retrieved 1 January 2020.