Iran bombs Erbil with 12 ballistic missiles in targeting the US Consulate

Iran bombs Erbil with 12 ballistic missiles in targeting the US Consulate


Iran bombs Erbil with 12 ballistic missiles in targeting the US ConsulateERBIL (Iraq) – The Counter-Terrorism Service in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq announced in a statement that an attack with “12 ballistic missiles” targeted Erbil, the capital of the region and the US consulate there, at dawn on Sunday, adding that the missiles were launched “from outside the borders of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, specifically from the east.”

Iraq has a wide eastern border with Iran, which has political and economic influence in this country and supports armed factions in it.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attack was launched from Iran. without providing more information.

Later, the Iranian TV correspondent in Iraq announced that the missile attacks on Erbil targeted “secret Israeli bases.”

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and no other details were available. A US State Department spokesman described the incident as a “outrageous attack”, but said that no Americans were hurt and no US government facilities in Erbil were damaged.

Usually, US interests in Iraq are targeted with booby-trapped missile and drone attacks, not claimed by any party, but Washington accuses pro-Iranian factions, which demand the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country, of being responsible for them.

The Kurdistan Counter-Terrorism Service said in its statement that “at one o’clock in the morning, 12 ballistic missiles were targeted at the city of Erbil,” adding, “the missiles were directed at the US consulate in Erbil.”

The statement explained that “the missiles were launched from outside the borders of Iraq and the Kurdistan region, specifically from the east,” noting that the attack did not result in “losses of life, except for material losses.”

The local “Kurdistan 24″ TV channel published pictures on its social media accounts showing that its headquarters, near the US Consulate in Erbil, was damaged as a result of the attacks. The pictures show broken glass and collapsed parts of the ceiling.

Sunday’s attack comes about a week after the Revolutionary Guards announced the killing of two of its officers by Israeli shelling targeting sites near Damascus on Monday.

In a statement on Tuesday on its website, Sepah News, the Guard stated that, “Following the crime committed by the Zionist entity on Monday morning in its missile aggression on the suburbs of the Syrian capital, Damascus, two of the heroic Revolutionary Guard cadres were martyred (…) they are Colonel Ihsan Karbalai Pour. and Colonel Morteza Saeed Nejad.

And the Revolutionary Guards warned that “the Zionist entity will pay the price for this crime.”

For his part, Minister of Health in the regional government, Saman Barzanji, said that “there are no human casualties” as a result of the attacks. The city’s airport confirmed that the air traffic is “normal”, denying the suspension of flights.

Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani condemned the attack, saying, “Erbil will not bow to cowards. We condemn this terrorist attack, which was launched on a number of areas of Erbil.”

“We ask the heroic residents of Erbil to remain calm and implement the directives of the security institutions,” he added.

For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi condemned the attack in a tweet, saying, “The attack that targeted the dear city of Erbil and terrorized its residents is an infringement on the security of our people.” “Our security forces will investigate this attack, and we will address any compromising the security of our cities and the safety of our citizens,” he added.

The leader of the Sadrist movement, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, condemned the attacks in a tweet, in which he said, “Erbil is under the fire of loss and betrayal,” adding, “Erbil will not kneel except for moderation, independence and sovereignty.”

The United Nations envoy to Iraq, Jeanine Plaschaert, condemned, in a tweet on Twitter, the missile attack that targeted Erbil, at dawn on Sunday
. She also called for the “perpetrators of this attack to be punished.”

The US forces stationed in the Erbil International Airport complex have been subjected to missile and drone attacks in the past, which US officials blamed on armed factions allied with Iran, but no such attacks have occurred for several months.

The last time American forces were attacked with ballistic missiles was in January 2020, in an Iranian response to the United States’ killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport earlier that month.

Within half an hour, 22 ballistic missiles hit the bases of Ain al-Assad (west) and Erbil (north).

Typically, regional and geopolitical tensions are reflected in the Iraqi internal arena.

At the beginning of the year, the country witnessed an escalation in missile attacks and booby-trapped marches, coinciding with the second anniversary of the assassination of Soleimani and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed by an American strike at Baghdad Airport.

And in late January, six missiles targeted Baghdad International Airport, in an attack that did not cause casualties, but caused damage to two empty planes. In Erbil, the last similar attack took place in September, when “exploded drones” targeted the airport.

Sunday’s attack comes as the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, which reached stages considered final by those concerned, entered a pause due to “external factors”, days after Moscow requested guarantees from Washington against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Iran and the major powers (France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China) have been holding talks in Vienna for months to revive the 2015 agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program. The United States, which unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018, is indirectly participating in the talks.