Iranian Attack Violates Iraqi Sovereignty
IRBIL, Iraq – Iraq has taken action in response to Iranian strikes on northern Iraq that resulted in the deaths of several civilians. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the attack as a “blatant violation of the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq.” The ministry also emphasized that the strike contradicts principles of good neighborliness and international law, and poses a threat to regional security.
Targets of the Iranian Strikes
Late on Monday, Iran launched missiles at what it claimed were Israeli “spy headquarters” in an upscale neighborhood near the U.S. Consulate compound in Irbil. Additionally, targets linked to the extremist Islamic State group in northern Syria were also hit. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard reported launching four Kheibar missiles at IS positions in Idlib, Syria, and using 11 precision ballistic missiles to target a Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Iran alleged that one of these missile strikes hit a Mossad center, an Israeli intelligence agency. However, Iraqi officials deny any connection between the building and Mossad.
Iraqi Response and Regional Tensions
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdish region expressed outrage at the attacks during a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He stated that there is no justification for these strikes and called for a response. The recent Iranian strikes come amidst heightened tensions in the region and concerns of a potential wider spillover from the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
Previous Attacks and Ongoing Conflict
This recent attack occurs shortly after the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings targeting a commemoration ceremony for an Iranian general who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2020. The attack took place in Kerman and resulted in the deaths of 84 people with 284 others wounded.
Iraq is now taking diplomatic measures by recalling its ambassador from Tehran for consultations and summoning Iran’s chargé d’affaires in Baghdad. The country is seeking redress for the violation of its sovereignty and emphasizing the severity of the situation for the entire region.
Iran Accuses Israel of Killing Iranian General in Airstrike
Last month, Iran leveled accusations against Israel concerning the killing of Iranian general, Seyed Razi Mousavi, in an airstrike on a Damascus neighborhood. The exact targets associated with the Islamic State group remain unclear.
Airstrike Targets Medical Clinic in Idlib
Mounir al-Mustafa, the deputy director of the civil defense in northwest Syria, known as the White Helmets, reports that one of the strikes in Idlib targeted a medical clinic in the village of Talteta. Although the clinic was no longer operational, two civilians sustained minor injuries. Sami al-Qassim, a resident living nearby, confirms that the clinic was empty and no militant activities were present in the area.
Prominent Local Businessman Among those Killed in Irbil
In Irbil, the strike claimed the lives of at least four individuals, including Peshraw Dizayi, a well-known local businessman with an extensive portfolio comprising real estate and security services companies. Members of his family were also among the casualties.
Iran’s Defense of Sovereignty and Security
The United States condemned what State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller labeled as “Iran’s reckless missile strikes.” However, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani, the strikes conducted in Iraq and Syria serve as a resolute defense of Iran’s sovereignty and security. They are also seen as a measure to counter terrorism and as part of the Islamic Republic’s efforts to punish those who threaten its security.
Kanaani further clarifies that Iran executed a precise and targeted operation by identifying the headquarters of the criminals before striking them with accurate and precision-guided projectiles.
Protests Emerge in Irbil
Following the attacks, a few hundred demonstrators in Irbil gathered on Tuesday to protest against the airstrikes.