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Iran claims missile barrage at the US consulate in Iraq

Iran claimed Sunday responsibility for the missile barrage that hit near a sprawling U.S. Consulate complex in northern Iraq. It said it was in retaliation to an Israeli strike in Syria earlier in the week that killed two members.

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Iran claims missile barrage at the US consulate in Iraq

Sunday's protest by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry against the attack on Iran, which it called a flagrant violation its sovereignty, saw the ambassador summoned by the Foreign Ministry of Iraq.

In Sunday's attack against Irbil, no injuries were reported. This was a significant step in the escalation of tensions between the U.S.A. and Iran. The long-standing rivals have been at odds in Iraq, whose government has been allied to both countries.

The Iraqi government reacted strongly to the attack, calling it a violation of international law and norms. They demanded an explanation from Iran's leadership. Ahmad al-Sahhaf, spokesperson for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, stated that the ministry summoned Iraj Masjedi to address the diplomatic protest.

The United States strongly condemned the Iranian missile strike and claimed it was a result of a missile strike.

"The strikes were an outrageous violation to Iraq's sovereignty. According to Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, no U.S. facilities were damaged and personnel were not injured. We have no evidence that the attack was directed against the United States." Price said to reporters in Washington.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard, a powerful militia, stated on its website that they attacked an Israeli spy centre in Irbil. The Revolutionary Guard did not provide any further details, but stated in a statement that Israel was on the offensive. This was referring to the strike that resulted in the deaths of two Revolutionary Guard members. According to semi-official Tasnim news agency, an unnamed source said that Iran had fired 10 Fateh missiles. These missiles have a range approximately 300 km (186 miles).

According to the source, multiple people were killed in the attack. Israel did not immediately comment on the Iranian missile attack or the claims.

Initial reports from Baghdad indicated that several missiles had struck the U.S. consulate at Irbil. This is a new and unoccupied building. The official added that the U.S. consulate was the intended target. Lawk Ghafari (head of Kurdistan’s foreign media office) later stated that none of the missiles had hit the U.S. facility, but that residents around it had been struck.

After a Cabinet meeting, Baghdad's Iraqi government reiterated its rejection of Iraq being used to settle disputes between countries. It also stated that it had requested an explanation from Iran.

Kurdistan24 satellite broadcast channel, located near the U.S consulate, went live from their studio within minutes of the attack. It showed shattered glass as well as debris on the studio floor.

This attack occurred several days after Iran stated that it would retaliate against an Israeli strike in Syria near Damascus which killed two members its Revolutionary Guard. Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported that Iraqi media acknowledged the attack in Irbil on Sunday. However, it did not say where they came from.

Regional tensions were exacerbated by the missile barrage. The "pause" in Vienna negotiations over Tehran's broken nuclear deal ended with Russian demands for sanctions against Moscow to stop it from attacking Ukraine. Iran suspended secret Baghdad-brokered negotiations to defuse yearslong tensions with its regional rival Saudi Arabia. This was after Saudi Arabia executed its largest mass execution in modern history, with more than three dozen Shiites being killed.

Iraqi security officials claimed that there were no casualties in the Irbil attack. They stated that it occurred after midnight and caused significant damage to the area. They spoke under anonymity to comply with regulations.

Without elaborating, one of the Iraqi officials claimed that the ballistic missiles were launched from Iran. The Iranian-made Fateh110 missiles were likely fired in retaliation to the deaths of two Revolutionary Guards in Syria.

U.S. forces stationed in Irbil's airport compound were under attack from drone and rocket fire in the past. Officials blame Iran-backed groups.

The U.S. top commander for the Middle East warned repeatedly about the growing threat of Iranian-backed militias attacking troops and allies in Iraq, Syria and other countries.

Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie stated that although the U.S. has shifted to a non combat role in Iraq, Iran and its proxies still want American troops to leave. He said that this could lead to more attacks.

In July, the Biden administration resolved to stop the U.S. combat missions in Iraq by December 31, 2001. The U.S. forces then gradually transitioned to advisory status last year. They will continue to provide air support and other military assistance for Iraq's fight against Islamic State.

Iran has been wary of the U.S. presence within Iraq for many years. However, tensions rose after a U.S. drone strike on January 2020 near Baghdad's airport killed a senior Iranian general. Iran launched a barrage missile attack on the al-Asad base, where U.S. troops, in retaliation. The blasts resulted in more than 100 traumatic brain injuries for servicemen.

Recent events have shown that Iranian proxy agents are responsible for the attempted assassination of Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi late last year.

Officials have stated that Iran is believed to be behind the attack on the military outpost in south Syria, where American troops are based. The attack did not result in any deaths or injuries for U.S. personnel.

Al-Kadhimi tweeted, "The aggression that targeted the dear city Irbil and spread terror among its inhabitants is an attack upon the security of our citizens."

Masrour Barzani was the prime minister in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. He condemned the attack. He posted on Facebook that he condemned the terrorist attack and said Irbil would not bow to cowards.

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