A house damaged by an Iranian ballistic missile attack is seen in Irbil, Iraq, Sunday, March 23, 2022. Iran has claimed responsibility for a missile barrage that struck early Sunday near a sprawling U.S. 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. (AP Photo/ Ahmed Mzoori, Metrography)

Iranian missiles rain down on ‘strategic Israeli centre’ in Iraq

Iran claimed responsibility for a missile strike on Sunday on the northern Iraqi city of Arbil, saying it targeted an Israeli “strategic centre” and warning of more attacks.

Authorities in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region said 12 ballistic missiles rained down on Arbil in a pre-dawn cross-border attack targeting US interests that slightly wounded two civilians and caused material damage.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed they fired the projectiles, claiming they were targeting sites used by Israel, a top ally of the US.

A “strategic centre for conspiracy and mischiefs of the Zionists was targeted by powerful precision missiles fired by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps”, the Guards said in a statement.

There was no immediate reaction from Israel to Sunday’s missile attack and Kurdish authorities insisted that the Jewish state has no sites in or anywhere near Arbil.

Kurdish authorities said the target of the attack was the Arbil consulate of the United States.

Arbil governor Oumid Khouchnaw told a news conference that two people, a taxi driver and a the custodian of a farm, were injured.

Speaking before Iran claimed the attack, he dismissed however as “baseless allegations” the presence of Israeli sites in and around Arbil.

Israeli security officials were anticipating an Iranian response, considering the high rank of the casualties and their importance, according to Hebrew-language media reports.

While casualties in strikes in Syria attributed to Israel are somewhat common, it is rarer that those killed are Iranian.

The Israeli military has defended airstrikes targeting Iranian targets in Syria as necessary to prevent foe Iran from gaining a foothold on its doorstep.

Sunday’s missile barrage coincided with rising regional tensions. Negotiations in Vienna over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal have hit a “pause” over Russian demands about sanctions targeting Moscow for its war on Ukraine.


Sources: Dawn News, Times of Israel

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