Iran claims missile barrage near US consulate in Iraq

Revolutionary Guard said it attacked 'an Israeli spy centre in Irbil' in retaliation for an Israeli strike in Syria

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Iranian Defence Ministry shows surface-to-surface Fateh-110 missile at an undisclosed location, in Tehran. — AP file
Iranian Defence Ministry shows surface-to-surface Fateh-110 missile at an undisclosed location, in Tehran. — AP file


Published: Sun 13 Mar 2022, 8:23 PM

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

No injuries were reported in Sunday’s attack on the city of Irbil, which marked a significant escalation between the US and Iran.

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said on its website that it attacked what it described as an Israeli spy centre 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 kilometres.


The source said the attack resulted in multiple casualties and said the main target for the missiles was the “Zionist base, which is far from the American military base”.

An Iraqi official in Baghdad initially said several missiles had hit the US consulate in Irbil, 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.

In a Twitter post, he said the lack of reaction from the international community to repeated attacks by Iran on Kurdistan “is of great concern” and was encouraging future attacks by Tehran.

A US defence official said the strike was launched from neighbouring Iran, and that it was still uncertain how many missiles were fired and where they landed. A second US official said there was no damage at any US government facility and that there was no indication the target was the consulate building, which is new and unoccupied.

Neither the Iraqi official nor the US officials were authorised to discuss the event with the media and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Satellite broadcast channel Kurdistan24, which is located near the US consulate, went on air from their studio shortly after the attack, showing shattered glass and debris on their studio floor.

The attack came several days after Iran said it would retaliate for an Israeli strike near Damascus, Syria, that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard. On Sunday, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quoted Iraqi media acknowledging the attacks in Irbil, without saying where they originated.

The Iraqi security officials said there were no casualties from the Irbil attack, which they said occurred after midnight and caused material damage in the area. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

One of the Iraqi officials said the ballistic missiles were fired from Iran, without elaborating. He said the Iranian-made Fateh-110 missiles were fired in retaliation for the two Revolutionary Guards killed in Syria.

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