Iran claims duty for missiles that struck close to a U.S. consulate in Iraq

Iran claims duty for missiles that struck close to a U.S. consulate in Iraq

Iran has claimed duty for a missile barrage that struck close to a sprawling U.S. consulate complicated within the northern Iraqi metropolis of Irbil, saying it was retaliation for an Israeli strike in Syria that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard.

AP

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AP

Iran has claimed duty for a missile barrage that struck close to a sprawling U.S. consulate complicated within the northern Iraqi metropolis of Irbil, saying it was retaliation for an Israeli strike in Syria that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard.

AP

BAGHDAD — Iran claimed duty Sunday for a missile barrage that struck close to a sprawling U.S. consulate complicated within the northern Iraqi metropolis of Irbil, saying it was retaliation for an Israeli strike in Syria that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard earlier this week.

No accidents had been reported in Sunday’s assault on town of Irbil, which marked a major escalation between the U.S. and Iran. Hostility between the longtime foes has usually performed out in Iraq, whose authorities is allied with each nations.

Iran’s highly effective Revolutionary Guard mentioned on its web site that it attacked what it described as an Israeli spy heart in Irbil. It didn’t elaborate, however in an announcement mentioned Israel had been on the offensive, citing the latest strike that killed two members of the Revolutionary Guard. The semi-official Tasnim information company quoted an unnamed supply as saying Iran fired 10 Fateh missiles, together with a number of Fateh-110 missiles, which have a spread of about 300 kilometers (186 miles).

The supply mentioned the assault resulted in a number of casualties and mentioned the primary goal for the missiles was the “Zionist base, which is much from the American army base.”

An Iraqi official in Baghdad initially mentioned a number of missiles had hit the U.S. consulate in Irbil, the supposed goal of the assault. Later, Lawk Ghafari, the pinnacle of Kurdistan’s international media workplace, mentioned not one of the missiles had struck the U.S. facility however that residential areas across the compound had been hit.

In a Twitter publish, he mentioned the dearth of response from the worldwide neighborhood to repeated assaults by Iran on Kurdistan “is of nice concern” and was encouraging future assaults by Tehran.

A U.S. protection official mentioned the strike was launched from neighboring Iran, and that it was nonetheless unsure what number of missiles had been fired and the place they landed. A second U.S. official mentioned there was no harm at any U.S. authorities facility and that there was no indication the goal was the consulate constructing, which is new and unoccupied.

Neither the Iraqi official nor the U.S. officers had been approved to debate the occasion with the media and spoke to The Related Press on situation of anonymity.

Satellite tv for pc broadcast channel Kurdistan24, which is situated close to the U.S. consulate, went on air from their studio shortly after the assault, exhibiting shattered glass and particles on their studio flooring.

A photograph launched in 2010 by the Iranian Protection Ministry, claims to indicate the upgraded surface-to-surface Fateh-110 missile at an undisclosed location, in Tehran, Iran.

Vahid Reza Alaei/Iranian Protection Ministry through AP

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Vahid Reza Alaei/Iranian Protection Ministry through AP

A photograph launched in 2010 by the Iranian Protection Ministry, claims to indicate the upgraded surface-to-surface Fateh-110 missile at an undisclosed location, in Tehran, Iran.

Vahid Reza Alaei/Iranian Protection Ministry through AP

The assault got here a number of days after Iran mentioned it could retaliate for an Israeli strike close to Damascus, Syria, that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard. On Sunday, Iran’s state-run IRNA information company quoted Iraqi media acknowledging the assaults in Irbil, with out saying the place they originated.

The assault comes throughout elevated tensions

The missile barrage coincided with regional tensions. Negotiations in Vienna over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal hit a “pause” over Russian calls for about sanctions concentrating on Moscow for its battle on Ukraine. In the meantime, Iran suspended its secret Baghdad-brokered talks geared toward defusing yearslong tensions with regional rival Saudi Arabia, after Saudi Arabia carried out its largest identified mass execution in its fashionable historical past with over three dozens Shiites killed.

The Iraqi safety officers mentioned there have been no casualties from the Irbil assault, which they mentioned occurred after midnight and precipitated materials harm within the space. They spoke on situation of anonymity in keeping with rules.

One of many Iraqi officers mentioned the ballistic missiles had been fired from Iran, with out elaborating. He mentioned the Iranian-made Fateh-110 missiles possible had been fired in retaliation for the 2 Revolutionary Guards killed in Syria.

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Matthew Tueller, mentioned the U.S. condemns the prison assault on civilian targets in Irbil. “Iranian regime components have claimed duty for this assault and have to be held accountable for this flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” he mentioned in an announcement posted by the U.S. consulate in Irbil.

U.S. forces stationed at Irbil’s airport compound have come below hearth from rocket and drone assaults previously, with U.S. officers blaming Iran-backed teams.

The highest U.S. commander for the Center East has repeatedly warned in regards to the rising threats of assaults from Iran and Iranian-backed militias on troops and allies in Iraq and Syria.

In an interview with The Related Press in December, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie mentioned that whereas U.S. forces in Iraq have shifted to a non-combat position, Iran and its proxies nonetheless need all American troops to depart the nation. Because of this, he mentioned, which will set off extra assaults.

The Biden administration determined final July to finish the U.S. fight mission in Iraq by Dec. 31, and U.S. forces progressively moved to an advisory position final yr. The troops will nonetheless present air help and different army assist for Iraq’s combat towards the Islamic State.

The U.S. presence in Iraq has lengthy been a flash level for Tehran, however tensions spiked after a January 2020 U.S. drone strike close to the Baghdad airport killed a prime Iranian common. In retaliation, Iran launched a barrage of missiles at al-Asad airbase, the place U.S. troops had been stationed. Greater than 100 service members suffered traumatic mind accidents within the blasts.

Extra not too long ago, Iranian proxies are believed accountable for an assassination try late final yr on Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

And officers have mentioned they imagine Iran was behind the October drone assault on the army outpost in southern Syria the place American troops are primarily based. No U.S. personnel had been killed or injured within the assault.

Al-Kadhimi tweeted: “The aggression which focused the pricey metropolis of Irbil and unfold concern amongst its inhabitants is an assault on the safety of our folks.”

Masrour Barzani, prime minister of the semi-autonomous Kurdish-controlled area, condemned the assault. In a Fb publish, he mentioned Irbil “is not going to bow to the cowards who carried out the terrorist assault.”

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