Iran launches missile attack on “Israeli spy base” in Iraq

Iran claims it has struck a Mossad spy center in Kurdish areas. Four killed
Located in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil. With targets 1,200 kilometers away, this is Iran's most far-reaching missile launch to date.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) struck targets in Syria and northern Iraq with missiles on Tuesday night. The Revolutionary Guards said the move was in response to a recent terrorist attack in Iran. A target of Islamic State terrorist fighters was destroyed in Syria, and an intelligence center of the Israeli secret service Mossad was destroyed in the Kurdish areas of Iraq. Four civilians were reported dead in Erbil. According to a US report, three armed drones were intercepted over a US base in northern Iraq.

The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group “is located in the occupied territories of Syria and has been destroyed by firing a series of ballistic missiles,” the IRGC said in a statement. It was initially unclear which target Iran had struck. Almost simultaneously, shortly before midnight, several large bombs rocked the northern Iraqi city of Erbil. According to eyewitnesses, several rockets hit near the new US embassy, ​​which is still under construction. The international airport in the Kurdish city was also affected as panic spread across the metropolis. Rockets fell on farms north of Erbil and hit houses.

“Until the last drop of martyr's blood is avenged”

A short time later, the Revolutionary Guards also claimed responsibility for rocket attacks on Erbil. “We assure our dear people that the offensive operations of the Revolutionary Guard will continue until the last drop of blood of the martyrs is avenged,” it said in a statement.

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According to Iranian news agency IRNA, the strike on northern Syria was the country's most far-reaching missile operation to date, covering a range of more than 1,200 kilometers. It should also be a clear signal to arch-enemy Israel. Rockets from the west of the country have roughly the same distance to reach Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

Kurdish human rights organization Henga had previously reported on X (formerly Twitter) about the rocket attack from an IRGC missile base in western Iran. It was aimed at the city of Erbil, the Norway-based organization wrote.

Kurds: Erbil “not a source of threat”

Meanwhile, the Security Council of the Kurdish Autonomous Region described the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's justifications for the attack in Erbil as mere pretexts. The attack was a violation of the region and Iraq's sovereignty, according to a statement from Tuesday night. Erbil “is not a source of threat” and will not be in the future, “but the guard forces are using false pretexts to undermine the country's stability.”

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani condemned the “cowardly attack on the people of the Kurdistan Region” on the X Platform, earlier on Twitter, and called on the government in Baghdad to take a clear stand against the violation of sovereignty.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said the Iraqi government will take all legal measures against these actions, which are considered a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and the security of the Iraqi people, including a complaint to the United Nations Security Council.

America has criticized Iran

Iran's missile attack on Erbil also drew harsh criticism from the US. “The United States strongly condemns the attacks on Erbil and extends its condolences to the families of those killed,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on Monday (local time). “We oppose Iran's reckless missile attacks that undermine Iraqi stability. We support the Iraqi government and the Kurdish Regional Government in their efforts to achieve the future goals of the Iraqi people.

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The situation in the region has been extremely tense since the Gaza war broke out more than three months ago. There have been no missile strikes by the IRGC since then. However, Iran-aligned militant groups have frequently attacked targets in Syria and Iraq in recent months. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Israel and the United States have been considered Iran's arch-enemies.

More than 90 people were killed in a terrorist attack in early January in Iran. The IS claimed responsibility for the attack shortly after. On December 25, an Israeli airstrike killed a senior IRGC official in Syria. Tehran vowed to retaliate. (APA/dpa)

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