Missile attacks on Iraq’s north region aimed at ‘secret Israeli bases’

As many as 12 missiles were fired Sunday toward the US consulate in Iraq’s northern city of Irbil, Iraqi security officials said. A US defense official said missiles had been launched at the city from neighboring Iran.

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DUBAI/BAGHDAD/TEHRAN: Missile atacks on Iraq’s northern Kurdish regional capital of Irbil were aimed at “secret Israeli bases”, an Iranian state-TV correspondent based in Iraq said on Sunday.

A “strategic center for conspiracy and mischiefs of the Zionists was targeted by powerful precision missiles fired by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.,” also said a statement on Sepah News, the Guards’ official website.

Sunday’s attack on Irbil comes nearly a week after two officers from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were killed in Syria in a strike attributed to key US ally Israel.

The Guards had already warned on Tuesday that Israel, the Islamic republic’s arch enemy, “will pay for this crime.”

As many as 12 missiles were fired Sunday toward the US consulate in Iraq’s northern city of Irbil, Iraqi security officials said. A US defense official said missiles had been launched at the city from neighboring Iran.

Officials in Iraq and the US gave different accounts of damage. A second US official said there was no damage and no casualties at any US government facility, but Iraqi officials said several missiles had hit the US consulate. The consulate building is new and currently unoccupied.

The US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because information was still coming in, said it was still not certain exactly how many missiles were fired and exactly where they landed.

The Iraqi security officials said there were no immediate report of casualties from the attack, which occurred shortly after midnight and caused material damage in the area. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

One of the Iraqi officials said the ballistic missiles were fired from Iran, without elaborating. The US officials could not confirm the type of missile.

The second US official said the incident was being investigated by the government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government. The US condemned what it called an “outrageous attack against Iraqi sovereignty and display of violence,” the official said in a statement.

The attack came several days after an Israeli strike near Damascus, Syria, killed two members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Iran’s foreign ministry strongly condemned the attack Wednesday and vowed revenge.

On Sunday, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quoted Iraqi media acknowledging the attacks in Irbil, without saying where they originated.

Satellite broadcast channel Kurdistan24, which is located near the US consulate, went on air from their studio shortly after the attack, showing shattered glass and debris on their studio floor.

A security statement said Irbil was targeted “with a number of missiles” early Sunday, adding that security forces were investigating the incident and would release more details later.

The attack comes as negotiations in Vienna over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal hit a “pause” over Russian demands about sanctions targeting Moscow over its war on Ukraine.

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