Erbil missile attack: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard claims responsibility

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Sunday claimed responsibility for a ballistic Erbil missile attack, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, saying it was targeting an Israeli “strategic centre”.

Around a dozen missiles rained down on the city at 1am on Sunday morning. The target initially appeared to be the US consulate’s new building. Though neighbouring areas were struck, the attack seems to have only caused material damage.

The health minister in the Kurdistan Regional Government, Saman Barzanji, said there were no casualties.

Baghdad has requested via diplomatic channels a “frank and clear” explanation from Iran regarding the Erbil missile attack, the Iraqi government said in a statement.

Iraq “awaits a stance from the Iranian political leadership that rejects aggression,” the Ministerial Council for National Security said after a meeting to discuss the attack launched from Iranian territory.

The IRGC said that it targeted a “strategic centre for conspiracy and mischiefs of the Zionists was targeted by powerful precision missiles fired by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

Earlier this week, Iran said Israeli airstrikes in Syria had killed two Revolutionary Guard officers and vowed revenge.

“Any repetition of attacks by Israel will be met with a harsh, decisive, and destructive response,” the IRGC said in a statement on Sepah News, the Guards’ official website.

The Kurdistan Regional Council of Ministers condemned the attack, which, it said was launched “under the pretext of striking an Israeli base near the U.S. consulate in Erbil, but the target site was a civilian site, and this justification is aimed at concealing the motives of this heinous crime”.

The Iranian government-affiliated Iranian Students News Agency (INSA) quoted Sabereen News, an Iranian-backed Telegram channel close to Iraqi paramilitaries, as saying “two advanced Israeli Mossad training centres” were attacked.

Erbil’s governor denied the presence of Israeli units, calling such allegations “baseless”, local news agency Rudaw reported.

“We condemn this terrorist attack launched against several sectors of Erbil, we call on the inhabitants to remain calm,” Kurdistan Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said.

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