Home International Iran claims missile fire at Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Iran claims missile fire at Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

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The Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, claim to have targeted an Israeli “strategic center”, without causing any casualties, while the Kurdish authorities deny any Israeli presence. The authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan (north) had previously indicated that “12 ballistic missiles” had targeted the American consulate in Erbil on Sunday.

The Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, claimed responsibility for the missile fire on Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, on Sunday, claiming to have targeted an Israeli “strategic center” and threatening the Jewish state with new “destructive” operations. The authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan (north) had previously indicated that “12 ballistic missiles” fired “outside the borders of Iraq, and more precisely from the East”, had targeted the American consulate in Erbil on Sunday, without causing any casualties.

“Unsubstantiated allegations”

On their Sepah News site, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards claimed that “the strategic center of the Zionists’ conspiracy and vice had been targeted by powerful advanced missiles.” Reacting to Tehran’s accusations, the Kurdistan authorities then said in a statement that the targeted site was a “civilian site”, castigating “a justification aimed solely at concealing this crime”.

β€œThese are baseless allegations,” the governor of Erbil assured a press conference on Sunday: β€œThere are no Israeli sites in this region, there is only the new U.S. consulate building.” This attack takes place nearly a week after the death in Syria of two senior Revolutionary Guards officers, killed in an attack attributed to Israel.

The Kurdish authorities deplore a “lack of reaction from the international community”

“Iran has targeted the Kurdistan region on several occasions, and the lack of reaction from the international community is very worrying,” lamented the Kurdish authorities for their part on Sunday. Before dawn on Sunday, an AFP correspondent in Erbil heard three explosions.

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Ziryan Wazir was in his taxi when the strikes took place. “The windows of my car exploded, I was injured in the face”, says the thirty-year-old bedridden, his head bandaged. Two people were “slightly injured” by the shots, according to the governor of Erbil, Oumid Khouchnaw, who specified that the missiles had mainly fallen “on empty land”.

Retaliation?

In January 2020, Iran fired 22 surface-to-surface missiles into Iraq at two bases housing American soldiers, in retaliation for Washington’s elimination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani a few days earlier on Iraqi territory. At the end of January 2021, six rockets were fired at Baghdad International Airport, causing no casualties. In Erbil, the last such attack dates back to September, when “armed drones” targeted the airport.

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These rocket attacks or booby-trapped drones which target American interests and the troops of the international anti-jihadist coalition in Iraq have never been claimed, but Washington accuses pro-Iran Iraqi factions, which are demanding the departure of American soldiers.

Sunday’s attack also comes as talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in Vienna were abruptly suspended, following new demands from Moscow. Concluded by Iran on one side, and the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and Germany on the other, this pact was supposed to prevent Tehran from acquiring the bomb atomic in exchange for the lifting of the sanctions which are suffocating its economy.

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