Iranian missiles target US consulate in Iraq: Report
- Missiles were the Iranian-made Fateh-110, likely fired in retaliation for the two Revolutionary Guards killed in Syria last week in an alleged Israeli strike
- Iraq said there were no immediate reports of casualties from the attack
- US forces stationed at Irbil’s airport compound have come under fire from rocket and drone attacks in the past
The US consulate in Iraq's northern city of Irbil came under heavy firing of Iranian missiles, Iraqi and US security officials said. As many as 12 missiles made landfall in Irbil, Kurdistan, reported Times of Israel.
Iran's state news agency IRNA claimed that “secret Israeli bases” were targeted in the attack.
An Iraqi official on the condition of anonymity said the ballistic missiles were fired from Iran. He said the projectiles were the Iranian-made Fateh-110, likely fired in retaliation for the two Revolutionary Guards killed in Syria last week in an alleged Israeli strike.
US officials also said that the missiles were fired from Iran.
Iraq said there were no immediate reports of casualties from the attack.
A US official initially said that the missiles hit the consulate, but a second American official later said there was no damage and no casualties at any US government facility.
Lawk Ghafari, the head of Kurdistan’s foreign media office, said none of the missiles hit the US facility but that areas around the new and currently unoccupied compound had been hit by the missiles.
The area’s governor said it was not clear whether the intended target was the US consulate or the airport, where there is a base for the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State terror group.
The airport said it had suffered no damage and flights had not been disrupted.
Local television channel Kurdistan24, whose studios are not far from the US consulate, posted images on social networks of its damaged offices, with collapsed sections of false ceiling and broken glass.
"We condemn this terrorist attack launched against several sectors of Irbil, we call on the inhabitants to remain calm,” Kurdistan Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said in a statement.
A US official said in a statement that the US condemned what it called an “outrageous attack against Iraqi sovereignty and display of violence.”
US forces stationed at Irbil’s airport compound have come under fire from rocket and drone attacks in the past, with US officials blaming Iran-backed groups.
The top US commander for the Middle East has repeatedly warned about the increasing threats of attacks from Iran and Iranian-backed militias on troops and allies in Iraq and Syria.
The attack comes several days after Syrian state media reported a strike it blamed on Israel near Damascus, Syria. The reports said the airstrike killed two members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Iran’s foreign ministry strongly condemned the attack and vowed revenge.
On Sunday, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quoted Iraqi media acknowledging the attacks in Irbil, without saying where they originated.