After an attack on the Kurdish capital of Erbil in northern Iraq, Tehran claimed responsibility for the attack.
Erbil/Tehran – Iran says it has fired rockets at Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Twelve rockets landed there early Sunday, according to the Kurdish Interior Ministry.
They had targeted the US consulate and attacked a residential area. The Kurdish TV channel Rudaw reported that some rockets fell near the new consulate, which is currently under construction. According to the Ministry of the Interior, one person was slightly injured.
Iran claimed responsibility for the missile attack. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said a few hours after Sunday’s bombardment that it had launched rocket attacks on an Israeli intelligence base in Erbil. The attack was in retaliation for alleged Israeli strikes in Syria about a week ago, in which two Iranian officers were killed. This attack was attributed to Israel.
Erbil Governor Umid Khushnau has said the accusations of an alleged Israeli intelligence base in northern Iraq are unfounded. “There are no Israeli bases in the area,” Khuschnau told the Rudaw broadcaster. The missiles would not have hit their targets. According to Khuschnau, two civilians were slightly injured.
Sullivan condemns attack
US President Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan condemned the attack. No US targets were hit and no US citizens were injured, he said in an interview with CBS on Sunday. The United States is in talks with the Iraqi government and those in Erbil “in part to help them gain missile defense capability to defend themselves and their cities,” Sullivan said.
The IRGC warned Israel that a repeat of Syria-like attacks on Iranian targets would be met with “even more consistent and destructive responses” from Iran. Israeli radio reported on Sunday that Israel is also assuming an Iranian retaliatory attack. Concerned about further reactions from Iran, the Israeli army on the northern border is on heightened alert, the station reported.
Barzani speaks of a “terrorist attack”
Iraqi militias allied with Iran have repeatedly fired missiles at targets used by the United States. Erbil has also been attacked before. But the rockets were always fired from Iraqi soil.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kasimi said on Twitter that the bombing was an attack on the security of the Iraqi people. The president of the Kurdish autonomous regions, Masrur Barzani, spoke of a “terrorist attack”.