March 13, 2022
Iran on Sunday claimed responsibility for several missile strikes near the U.S. consulate complex in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, saying that the attack was retaliation for an Israeli strike in Syria that killed two members of the Iran Revolutionary Guard.
The attack resulted in no injuries, according to the Associated Press.
The country’s Revolutionary Guard said in a statement the attack was launched against an Israeli “strategic center of conspiracy” in Irbil, the AP noted. While the statement did not elaborate on the claim, it said Israel had been on the offensive and cited an Israeli missile strike near Damascus, Syria that killed two members of the Iran Revolutionary Guard.
Prior to the announcement, an Iraqi official in Baghdad first said that several missiles had hit the U.S. consulate and that the complex was the target of the attack, the AP reported. However, Lawk Ghafari, the head of Kurdistan’s foreign media office, later said no missiles hit the complex, though missiles hit the areas around the facility.
A U.S. defense official reportedly said they were uncertain how many missiles were fired and where exactly they hit. However, another U.S. official also said there was no damage to any U.S. facility and that there was no indication the target was the consulate building, according to the AP.
The building is reportedly new and currently unoccupied.
Kurdistan24, a satellite broadcast channel located near the U.S. consulate, went on air from their studio shortly after the attack. The broadcast reportedly showed shattered glass and debris on their studio floor.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency acknowledged the attacks in Irbil through Iraqi media, without saying where they originated, the AP noted.
The attack comes several hours after multiple ballistic missiles hit Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, which also resulted in no casualties.