Iran Fires Missile Barrage Near US Facility in Iraq

It's seen as an escalation of tension between Washington and Tehran
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 13, 2022 9:31 AM CDT
Iran Fires Missile Barrage Near US Facility in Iraq
A file photo of Iranian soldiers.   (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

(Newser) – Iran has claimed responsibility for a missile barrage that struck early Sunday near a sprawling US 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. No injuries were reported in the attack, which marked a significant escalation between the US and Iran, per the AP. Hostility between the longtime foes has often played out in Iraq, whose government is allied with both countries. The State Department called the attacks "outrageous."

A US official said there was no damage at any US government facility and no indication the target was the consulate building, which is new and currently unoccupied. The Washington Post reports the missiles landed "several kilometers" from the US complex. Iran's quasi-official Fars news agency said the nation's Revolutionary Guard Corps launched “powerful missiles” in retaliation for “recent crimes of the fake Zionist regime." The attack came several days after Iran said it would retaliate for an Israeli strike near Damascus, Syria, that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard.

The Kurdistan Regional Council of Ministers said in a statement that Irbil "was subjected to a cowardly attack under the pretext of striking an Israeli base near the US consulate in Irbil, but the target site was a civilian site, and this justification is aimed at concealing the motives of this heinous crime." The missile barrage coincided with regional tensions. Negotiations in Vienna over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal hit a “pause” over Russian demands about sanctions targeting Moscow for its war on Ukraine. Meanwhile, Iran suspended its secret Baghdad-brokered talks aimed at defusing tensions with Saudi Arabia, after Saudi Arabia carried out its largest known mass execution in its modern history, with over three dozens Shiites killed.

(Read more Iran stories.)

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