Iraq: Dozen ballistic missiles hit Erbil
By Bekir Aydogan, Ali Makram Ghareeb and Haydar Karaalp
ERBIL, Iraq (AA & Agencies): A dozen ballistic missiles that hit northern Iraq’s Erbil were launched from outside the country, the counter-terror unit of northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said Sunday.
The attack came several days after an Israeli strike near Damascus Syria killed two members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). Iran’s foreign ministry strongly condemned the attack on Wednesday and the IRGC vowed to retaliate,vowed revenge. The missile attacks on Erbil were targeting secret Israeli bases in the city, Iranian state TV reported on Sunday.
The Anti-Terrorism Unit said in a statement on its official Facebook page that the attack was “directed from the east,” and there was no loss of life.
The attack at 1 a.m. (2300 GMT) had 12 ballistic missiles targeting a neighborhood in the direction of the US Consulate.
Separately, the KRG Interior Ministry announced that a citizen was slightly injured as a result of the missile attack.
Some buildings and houses were damaged in the attack, it added.
“Numerous attacks in Erbil tonight were carried out with missiles and none of the missiles hit the new US Consulate in Erbil, which is under construction. However, the areas around the campus were hit by missiles,” Lawk Ghafuri, KRG’s head of Foreign Media Relations said on Twitter.
Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw earlier told Erbil-based broadcaster Rudaw that there was a terror attack against the US Consulate.
Noting that the attack was a terror attack, Khoshnaw said security forces in the city were alarmed right after the attack.
The US State Department reported that there were no casualties in the attack.
In a statement released after the attack, the State Department said, “We condemn this outrageous attack and display of violence.”
The prime minister of northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) condemned the attack in Erbil.
In a post on KRG’s official Twitter account, Masrour Barzani said: “Erbil will not bow down to cowards. I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on several places in Erbil.”
He urged the people of Erbil to obey the instructions of security forces.
Moreover, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said on his social media account that the attack targeted the safety of the people, adding that they would start investigations on the attack.
Kadhimi said on his social media account: “Our security forces will investigate this attack. We will resist attacks targeting the security of our cities and the well-being of our people.”
The attack came several days after an Israeli strike near Damascus Syria killed two members of IRGC.
Iranian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi said in a letter to the UN that Iran has a right to defend itself and its interests against the Israeli attacks.
“In the early morning of Monday, March 7, 2022, the Israeli regime in flagrant violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic launched missile attacks against an area north of Damascus, resulting in the martyrdom of two Iranian forces who were advising the Syrian military forces in its counter-terrorism efforts in Syria,” he said.
IRGC said two of its military advisers were killed by Israeli missile attack on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday.
IRGC General Ramezan Sharif said: “The Zionist enemy knows that it will not benefit from such crimes and will receive decisive responses.”
Iran has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
[Map of Iraq by Chris at English Wikipedia/Public Domain]