Iran Claims Responsibility For Missile Attack Near US Consulate In Erbil
IRAN - Iran has officially claimed responsibility for the missile attacks that hit near the U.S. consulate in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq Saturday night.
On Sunday morning the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) confirmed launching precision-guided missiles and claimed that the missiles targeted a 'Zionist' spy base in Erbil that was allegedly being used to plan attacks on Iran.
The Islamic Republic News Agency also said that the missile strikes 'dismantled' the alleged 'Zionist' spy network they claimed was located in Erbil.
Two Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members were reportedly killed during an Israeli airstrike in Damascus, Syria a few days prior to the airstrike, after which Iran stated that Israel will pay for the strike that killed the IRGC members.
Iran gave no evidence to support their claims that there was an Israeli base in Erbil. The missile strikes missed the U.S. consulate in Erbil but damaged property owned by civilians in the area, although no injuries or death's from the attacks have been reported.
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller stated, "The United States condemns the criminal attack on civilian targets in Erbil. Iranian regime elements have claimed responsibility for this attack and must be held accountable for this flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty and for terrorist attacks on innocent civilian properties".
Meanwhile, Iraq's Foreign Ministry requested talks with Iran's ambassador, Iraj Masjedi in order to lodge protests against the attack, which they called a flagrant violation of Iraq's sovereignty. The Iraqi government has demanded an explanation from Iranian leadership and stated that it was a "violation of international law and norms".
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price spoke to reporters in Washington saying, "The strikes were an outrageous violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. No U.S. facilities were damaged or personnel injured, and we have no indications the attack was directed at the United States".