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Missiles launched from Iran targeted new US consulate in Erbil: Report

Published: Updated:

Missiles launched from Iran targeted a new US consulate under construction in Erbil, northern Iraq, early on Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported citing US officials.

Twelve ballistic missiles were launched from outside Iraq to target Erbil the city, the state news agency quoted the Directorate General of Counter Terrorism in Kurdistan as saying.

Read more: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claim responsibility for missile attack on Iraq’s Erbil

The consulate was not hit and no US personnel were hurt, US officials told the Wall Street Journal.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but according to the Wall Street Journal, US officials said that the attack may have been in retaliation for an Israeli airstrike in Syria on Monday that killed two members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman reportedly said after the Israeli strike that Iran would take steps to hold Israel accountable.

No casualties have been reported after missiles reportedly struck Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, Reuters reported citing the Iraq state news agency who quoted the Kurdistan health minister.

There were no US military casualties following the attack, a US official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A US State Department spokesperson in a statement to Al Arabiya English “condemned this outrageous attack and display of violence.”

No damage has been reported at “any US Government facility,” according to the same statement.

The State Department also confirmed that the “incident is being investigated by the government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government.”

According to the latest update, the projectiles used in the attack are reported to be Iran’s Fateh-110, according to Al Arabiya citing Kurdish sources.

A spokesperson for the regional authorities told Reuters that there were no flight interruptions at Erbil airport.

A social media report from a journalist at Kurdistan24 claims that the attack has caused damage to the offices and studios of the broadcast news station in Erbil.

The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Masrour Barzani published a statement on Facebook: “Erbil will not bow down to the cowards who carried out the terrorist attack that targeted some areas of Erbil, and I strongly condemn it, I ask the brave people of Erbil to be patient and obey the instructions of the security authorities. Thank you for your patience.”

In the past, US forces stationed at Erbil’s international airport complex have come under fire from rocket and drone attacks that US officials blame on Iran-aligned groups, but no such attacks have occurred for several months.

On January 28, at least three rockets landed in the Baghdad International Airport compound and near an adjacent US air base, damaging one disused civilian airplane, Iraqi police sources said.

The US air base, known as Camp Victory, is located around the perimeter of Baghdad’s civilian airport.

Rocket attacks which US and some Iraqi officials blame on Iran-backed militia groups who oppose the US military presence in the region have regularly hit the complex in recent years.

Al Arabiya English’s Joseph Haboush contributed to this report. With AFP and Reuters.

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