Iran’s IRGC says attacked Israeli ‘espionage’ centers in Iraq’s Erbil

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Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said they attacked the “espionage headquarters” of Israel in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, state media reported late on Monday, while the elite force said they also struck in Syria against ISIS.

“Ballistic missiles were used to destroy espionage centers and gatherings of anti-Iranian terrorist groups in the region late tonight,” Iran’s Guards said in a statement, naming Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

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In addition to those strikes near Kurdistan’s capital Erbil, the IRGC said they launched attacks against the “perpetrators of terrorist operations” in Iran, including ISIS.

Explosions were heard in an area some 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Erbil in the Kurdistan region, three security sources said, in a neighborhood near the US consulate as well as civilian residences.

No US facilities were impacted by the missiles strikes, two US officials told Reuters.

At least four civilians were killed and six injured in the strikes on Erbil, the Kurdistan government’s security council said in a statement, describing the attack as a “crime.”

Multimillionaire Kurdish businessman Peshraw Dizayee and several members of his family were among the dead, killed when at least one rocket crashed into their home, Iraqi security and medical sources said.

Dizayee, who was close to the ruling Barzani clan, owned businesses that led major real estate projects in Kurdistan.

Additionally, one rocket had fallen on the house of a senior Kurdish intelligence official and another on a Kurdish intelligence center, the security sources said.

Reuters could not independently verify any of the reports. Israeli government officials were not reachable for immediate comment.

Air traffic at Erbil airport was halted, the security sources said.

Iran has in the past sometimes carried out strikes in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region, saying the area is used as a staging ground for Iranian separatist groups as well as agents of its arch-foe Israel.

Baghdad has tried to address Iranian concerns over separatist groups in the mountainous border region, moving to relocate some members as part of a security agreement reached with Tehran in 2023.

Earlier this month, ISIS claimed responsibility for two explosions in Iran’s southeastern Kerman city that killed nearly 100 people and wounded scores at a memorial for top commander Qassem Soleimani.

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