US condemns Iran for ‘reckless’ missile strikes on northern Iraqon January 16, 2024 at 8:09 am

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Iran says it launched missiles at Israeli “spy headquarters” in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil.

In the aftermath of a missile attack, people mill aroundImage source, Rudaw TV

The US has condemned Iran over missile attacks near Iraq’s northern city of Irbil, calling them “a reckless and imprecise set of strikes”.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said they struck Israeli “spy headquarters” in northern Iraq with ballistic missiles.

Four people were killed and six others wounded in Monday’s attack, according to Iraq’s Kurdistan security council.

The strikes come amid rising tensions in the region since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on 7 October.

The conflict has increasingly started to spill over to involve Iran’s allies from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

“We will continue to assess the situation, but initial indications are that this was a reckless and imprecise set of strikes,” Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement.

“The United States supports the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Iraq,” she said, adding that no US personnel or facilities were targeted.

Earlier, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said that “one of the main Mossad espionage headquarters in Iraq’s Kurdistan region was destroyed with ballistic missiles”.

A statement said it was “in response to the recent atrocities of the Zionist regime”.

Iran has carried out attacks in Iraq’s Kurdistan region before, claiming the area is used by Iranian separatist groups and agents of Israel.

In a statement from his office, Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani condemned the attack on Irbil as a “crime against the Kurdish people”.

A prominent businessman, Peshraw Dizayee, was among four civilians killed, the Kurdistan Democratic Party said.

The Revolutionary Guards also said they had targeted Islamic State (IS) group positions in Syria. Explosions were heard in Aleppo and its countryside, where “at least four missiles that came from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea” fell, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said.

The force said it was in retaliation for this month’s suicide bombing on crowds marking the anniversary of Iranian spymaster Qasem Soleimani’s assassination by the US.

That attack in Kerman in southern Iran killed at least 84 people and wounded many more.

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