The Iranian attack did not target US facilities or personnel, a senior security official has said
The US has rebuked Iran for its overnight missile attacks in Iraq and Syria, calling them “reckless and imprecise.” The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has said the operation targeted Israeli spies and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists in Iraq and Syria respectively.
While Tehran did not specify the locations targeted by its forces, reports from the ground indicate the city of Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan was hit, with projectiles reportedly landing not far from the US consulate.
US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told journalists that “no US personnel or facilities were targeted.”
“We will continue to assess the situation, but initial indications are that this was a reckless and imprecise set of strikes. The United States supports the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Iraq,” the statement added.
The Foreign Ministry in Baghdad said the Iraqi government will take all legal measures against actions that violate the country’s sovereignty and the security of its people.
The Iraqi Kurdistan administration said at least four civilians were killed and six others injured in Erbil. Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani called the incident a “crime against the Kurdish people.”
Local sources claimed that among the several locations hit in Iraq were the house of a local intelligence official and a Kurdish intelligence center, Reuters reported. The home of a Kurdish multimillionaire construction businessman close to the region’s ruling clan was reportedly struck as well.
The IRGC claimed it attacked “one of the main espionage headquarters” of Israel in Iraq, acting “in response to the recent evils of the Zionist regime in martyring the commanders of the Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Resistance Front.”
In late December, an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria killed Sayyed Razi Mousavi, one of the top IRGC commanders. Israel neither confirmed nor denied being behind the apparent targeted assassination.
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