Iran claims responsibility for missile barrage near US consulate in Iraq

| 14.03,22. 01:36 AM |

Iran claims responsibility for missile barrage near US consulate in Iraq


US officials say there was no damage to US government facilities after Iran launched a missile attack.(Reuters: Azad Lashkari)


Iran's Revolutionary Guards have claimed responsibility for a dozen ballistic missiles that struck Iraq's northern Kurdish regional capital of Erbil, Iran's state media reported, adding the attack was against Israeli "strategic centres" in Erbil.

The missile attack comes as talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal face the prospect of collapse after a last-minute Russian demand forced world powers to pause negotiations for an undetermined time despite having a largely completed text.

The missiles, which targeted the US consulate's new building, caused only material damage and one civilian was injured, the Kurdish interior ministry said.

An Iraqi security official told Reuters that the missiles were manufactured in Iran.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards released a statement taking responsibility for the missile attack against Israeli "strategic centres" in Erbil, Iran's state media reported.

A US official blamed Iran for the attack earlier on Sunday but did not give further details.

A Kurdish spokesperson for the regional authorities said Sunday's attack only targeted civilian residential areas, not a foreign base, and called on the international community to carry out an investigation.

Separately, a US State Department spokesperson called it an "outrageous attack" but said no Americans were hurt and there was no damage to US government facilities in Erbil.

Map of Iraq region showing where attack occurred.
Iraq and neighbouring Syria are regularly the scene of violence between the United States and Iran.(Associated Press)

US forces stationed at Erbil's international airport complex have in the past come under fire from rocket and drone attacks that Washington blames on Iran-aligned militia groups, but no such attacks have occurred for several months.

Asked about Sunday's attack, Israel's military said it did not comment on reports in the foreign press and the prime minister's office declined to comment.

In another sign of increased regional tensions, Iran also suspended on Sunday a fifth round of talks with regional rival Saudi Arabia that was due to take place in Baghdad on Wednesday.

Iran vowed retaliation for Israeli strike

The last time ballistic missiles were directed at US forces was in January 2020 — an Iranian retaliation for the US killing earlier that month of its military commander Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport.

No US personnel were killed in the 2020 attack but many suffered head injuries.

Iraq and neighbouring Syria are regularly the scenes of violence between the United States and Iran.

Iran-backed Shiite Islamist militias have attacked US forces in both countries and Washington has on occasion retaliated with air strikes.

An Israeli air strike in Syria on Monday killed two members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Iranian state media said last week.

The IRGC vowed to retaliate, it said. Israel has not confirmed it carried out the strike.

A Kurdish spokesperson for the regional authorities said there were no flight interruptions at Erbil airport.

Residents of Erbil posted videos online showing several large explosions, and some said the blasts shook their homes. Reuters could not independently verify those videos.

Iraq has been rocked by chronic instability since the Sunni Islamist group Islamic State was defeated in 2017 by a loose coalition of Iraqi, US-led and Iran-backed forces.

Since then, Iran-aligned militias have regularly attacked US military and diplomatic sites in Iraq and US, Iraqi officials say.

Iran denies involvement in those attacks.





(Votes: 0)

Other News

STL Appeals Chamber Convicts Hassan Habib Merhi & Hussein Hassan Oneissi for Terrorist Attack that killed Rafik Hariri 'I don't want to die': Ukrainians' fear as invasion closes in Harrowing footage shows Russian tank run over Ukrainian civilian car Fresh pre-dawn explosions heard in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, with reports Russian plane downed Russian President Vladimir Putin authorises special military operation in Ukraine's Donbas Prince Andrew reaches settlement in Virginia Giuffre sexual abuse case, says court filing Access to the commentsCOMMENTS AFP warns parents to think before posting back-to-school photos France exceeds 100,000 daily Covid-19 cases Turkey marks 17th anniversary of Indonesia tsunami New Zealand delays border reopening over Omicron concerns, holding back Australian travellers African absence at UN Security Council is 'great injustice,' says Turkish president First Muslim confirmed by US Senate as religious freedom envoy Turkey stresses support for sovereignty, territorial integrity of Bosnia Israel to remove security protection for Netanyahu’s family Suspect in murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi arrested in Paris Iran: Second day of protests in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province over water shortages Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand will move away from COVID zero Mosque terrorist says his guilty pleas were obtained under 'duress' Earthquake interrupts Jacinda Ardern's New Zealand COVID-19 strategy press conference Iranian Resistance commemorates Sir David Amess in Ashraf 3, Albania Turkey’s cooperation with Africa not short-term: President British Conservative MP Sir David Amess stabbed to death while meeting with constituents in church Lebanon's main government power plants shut, deepening the country's energy crisis UK Labour conference passes motion against Israeli 'apartheid' German election: Centre-left Social Democrats narrowly beat Merkel's CDU bloc, initial results show Israel wants 4 counties to mediate prisoner exchange deal: Hamas Woman and two children killed in NSW Central Coast crash Malaysia warns Australia nuclear submarine project could 'provoke other powers' in Asia Woman charged with murdering her three daughters in Timaru Lebanon's president, premier-designate sign decree to form gov't