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Middle East

Iran’s IRGC Launch “Reckless” Missile Strikes in Northern Iraq

January 16, 2024
2 min read
Four civilians were reported killed and six injured after missiles hit late on January 15 in Irbil, the seat of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region
Four civilians were reported killed and six injured after missiles hit late on January 15 in Irbil, the seat of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region

The Revolutionary Guards of the Islamic Republic of Iran fired missiles at what they claimed were Israeli “spy headquarters” in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, amid concerns of a wider spillover of the ongoing war between Israel and Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

Four civilians were killed and six injured after missiles hit late on January 15 an upscale area near the US Consulate in Irbil, the seat of Iraq’s Kurdish region, according to the regional government’s security council, which described the attack as a "crime."

Multimillionaire Kurdish businessman Peshraw Dizayee and several members of his family were said to be among the dead, killed when at least one rocket crashed into their home.

A rocket reportedly fell on the house of a senior Kurdish intelligence official and another on a Kurdish intelligence center. 

Air traffic at Erbil airport was halted after the attacks, according to reports.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said in a statement it had hit a headquarters of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region. 

"In response to the recent atrocities of the Zionist regime, causing the killing of commanders of the Guards and the Axis of of the main Mossad espionage headquarters in Iraq's Kurdistan region was destroyed with ballistic missiles," the IRGC said.

The Islamic Republic had vowed revenge for the killing of three IRGC members of the Guards in Syria last month, including a senior commander.

"We assure our nation that the Guards' offensive operations will continue until avenging the last drops of martyrs' blood," the IRGC also said. 

Israeli officials did not immediately acknowledge the attack in Irbil.

A separate statement said the IRGC had also "fired a number of ballistic missiles in Syria and destroyed the perpetrators of terrorist operations" in Iran, including the extremist group Islamic State.

Earlier this month, the IS group claimed responsibility for two explosions in the southeastern Iranian city of Kerman that killed nearly 100 people at a memorial ceremony for top IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry condemned the missile strikes in Irbil as an "attack on its sovereignty," and said the Iraqi authorities "will take all legal steps" necessary, including "lodging a complaint with the (UN) Security Council."

Baghdad will also publish the findings of an investigation into the strikes to prove to "the falseness of the allegations made by those responsible for these reprehensible actions."

The United States condemned Iran’s “reckless” missile strikes in Irbil. Officials said no US facilities were struck and there were no American casualties in the attacks in Iraq and Syria.

Since the eruption of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7, Tehran-backed militias in Iraq have launched near-daily drone attacks on bases housing American forces in Iraq and Syria.

Iranian forces have in the past carried out strikes in Iraq's Kurdistan region, saying the area is used as a staging ground for Iranian separatist groups as well as agents of Israel.



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