A car bomb exploded today outside the U.S. consulate in Erbil. According to the State Department, all officials are accounted for, but as of now no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Via NBC News:

There were no immediate reports of injuries to consulate personnel or local guards, the State Department official said. The Associated Press, citing one of its reporters at the scene, said that the blast set nearby cars on fire.

Talmadge Payne, an American working as a consultant for a non-government organization in Erbil, told NBC News that he was sitting on the roof of his hotel, about a half-mile from the consulate, and felt the blast.

“If I could feel the blast from here it must have been pretty significant,” he said. “The room shook, and a few things fell off the shelves.”

He said there was a firefight, then about 10 minutes of calm, then more gunfire.

Photos posted to Twitter show a sizable explosion that caused extensive damage and may have killed up to 3 people:

CBS News reports that at least one Kurdish official has already labeled this an act of terrorism:

Hiwa Afandi, a Kurdish government official, tweeted that the blast was the result of a “failed” attack on the consulate, claiming that guards confronted the bomber who detonated the device before reaching the consulate.

The last attack on Erbil occurred last November, when a suicide bomber planted himself outside the entrance to the governor’s mansion and killed 5 people. ISIS claimed responsibility for the explosion. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in Kurdistan have since helped Kurdish peshmerga fighters beat back ISIS in the region.

As of right now, there’s a lot of conflicting information floating around about what happened in Erbil today. We’ll keep you posted with any updates as they become available.


ISIS has claimed responsibility for the car bombing via Twitter, saying, “were able to detonate a car bomb on the building of the American Consulate in the city, which led to killing and wounding many of them.”

Meanwhile, Hezbollah has launched blame for the rise of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda on the actions of Saudi Arabia, saying that airstrikes in Yemen, for example, have led to the spread of Islamic extremism in the region.