Iran claims missile barrage near US consulate in Iraq - GulfToday

Iran claims missile barrage near US consulate in Iraq


Iran has claimed responsibility for a missile barrage in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil. AP

Iran claimed responsibility on Sunday for a missile barrage that struck near a sprawling US consulate complex in northern Iraq, saying it was retaliation for an Israeli strike in Syria that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard earlier this week.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned Iran’s ambassador to protest the attack, calling it a flagrant violation of the country's sovereignty.

No injuries were reported in Sunday's attack on the city of Irbil, which marked a significant escalation between the US and Iran. Hostility between the longtime foes has often played out in Iraq, whose government is allied with both countries.


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The attack drew harsh condemnation from the Iraqi government, which called it a "violation of international law and norms” and demanded an explanation from the Iranian leadership. Iraq’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Al Sahhaf told The Associated Press that the ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador, Iraj Masjedi, to deliver the diplomatic protest.

A house damaged by an Iranian ballistic missile attack is seen in Irbil, Iraq, on Sunday. AP

The United States strongly condemned the strike and said it was an unjustified attack on a civilian residence.

"We will support the Government of Iraq in holding Iran accountable, and we will support our partners throughout the Middle East in confronting similar threats from Iran,” the White House national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said in a statement. "The United States of America stands behind the full sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Iraq.”

No US facilities were damaged or personnel injured, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington. The US had no indication the attack was directed at the United States, he said.

A file photo shows the test firing of Iran's home-built surface-to-surface Fateh 110 missile. AFP

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said on its website that it attacked what it described as an Israeli spy center in Irbil. It did not elaborate, but in a statement said Israel had been on the offensive, citing the recent strike that killed two members of the Revolutionary Guard. The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying Iran fired 10 Fateh missiles, including several Fateh-110 missiles, which have a range of about 300 kilometers (186 miles).

The source claimed the attack resulted in multiple casualties. There was no immediate comment from Israel on the allegations or the Iranian missile barrage.

An Iraqi official in Baghdad initially said several missiles had hit the US consulate in Irbil, which is new and unoccupied, adding that it had been the intended target of the attack. Later, Lawk Ghafari, the head of Kurdistan’s foreign media office, said none of the missiles had struck the US facility but that residential areas around the compound had been hit.

Associated Press


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