Strike targeted Israel’s ‘strategic center of conspiracies’ in northern Iraqi city, says IRGC
By Syed Zafar Mehdi
Iran on Sunday claimed an overnight attack on what it said were Israeli facilities in the region of Erbil in northern Iraq with precision-guided missiles.
In a statement on Sunday, the public relations wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed responsibility for Saturday’s strike in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), saying it came in response to last week’s Israeli attack in Syria that killed two IRGC members.
The IRGC warned Israel that it would face a “harsh, decisive, and destructive response” if such strikes continue, vowing to avenge the Syria strike.
In the statement, the IRGC said the attack that occurred late at night targeted Israel’s “strategic center of conspiracies” in Erbil.
It underlined that the security of Iranian nationals was “the red line” of the country’s armed forces.
In a statement on Sunday, the KRG’s counterterrorism unit said a dozen ballistic missiles that hit Erbil after they were launched from outside the country.
It said the attack was “directed from the east,” targeting an affluent neighborhood in the direction of the US consulate, adding that there had been no fatalities.
Separately, the KRG Interior Ministry announced that one person was slightly injured as a result of the missile attack.
Some buildings and houses were also damaged in the attack, it said.
“Numerous attacks in Erbil tonight were carried out with missiles and none of the missiles hit the new US Consulate in Erbil, which is under construction,” Lawk Ghafuri, KRG’s head of Foreign Media Relations said on Twitter.
“However, the areas around the campus were hit by missiles,” he added.
Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw had earlier told Erbil-based broadcaster Rudaw that there had been a terror attack against the US Consulate.
The two IRGC members slain in the Israeli strike on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus were identified as Col. Ehsan Karbalaipur and Col. Morteza Saeednejad.
“Without a doubt, the Israeli occupation will pay the price for this crime,” the IRGC said after the incident.
The prime minister of northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) condemned the attack in Erbil.
In a post on the KRG’s official Twitter account, Masrour Barzani said: “Erbil will not bow down to cowards. I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on several places in Erbil.”
Moreover, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said on social media that the attack targeted the safety of the people, adding that officials would launch investigations on the attack.
Kadhimi added: “Our security forces will investigate this attack. We will resist attacks targeting the security of our cities and the well-being of our people.”
Turkiye on Sunday also condemned the attack.
“Such acts aiming to disrupt peace and stability in Iraq are totally unacceptable,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Turkiye will continue to stand by Iraq in its fight against terrorism,” it added.
Credit | AA