Ballistic missiles target US consulate in north Iraq - GulfToday

Ballistic missiles target US consulate in north Iraq


Sgt. Richard Ganske uses a bulldozer to manoeuvre trash in Balad, Iraq. Reuters

Gulf Today Report

A dozen ballistic missiles launched from outside Iraq struck the country's northern city of Irbil, Iraqi security officials said. A US defence official said missiles had been launched at the city from neighbouring Iran.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility or further details available. 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.


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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.

Iraqi state TV quoted the Kurdistan region's counter-terrorism force as saying 12 missiles launched from outside Iraq hit Erbil. It was not immediately clear where they landed.

Master Sgt. Darryl Sterling tosses unserviceable uniform items into a burn pit at Balad Air Base in Balad, Iraq. Reuters

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

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 scene of violence between the United States and Iran. Iran-backed Shi'ite Islamist militias have attacked US forces in both countries and Washington has on occasion retaliated with air strikes.

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 U.S. consulate, went on air from their studio shortly after the attack, showing shattered glass and debris on their studio floor.

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