Iran Launches Ballistic Missile Strikes in Iraq and Syria

The strikes in Iraq targeted an alleged Mossad base near the US consulate in Erbil, an area where Israel is known to have operatives

January 15, 2024

Iran said on Monday that its forces launched ballistic missile strikes in Iraq and Syria that targeted “spy headquarters and the gathering of anti-Iranian terrorist groups” as regional tensions continue to soar.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said the strikes in Syria targeted ISIS members who were involved in the recent bombing in Kerman, Iran, which killed 94 people. ISIS had taken responsibility for the January 3rd attack, which targeted a commemoration ceremony for Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by the US in 2020.

The IRGC said the strikes in Iraq targeted “the espionage headquarters of Israel’s Mossad” in Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital of Erbil. Multiple missile strikes were reported in Erbil near the US consulate, but there’s no indication the facility was hit.

“No US facilities were impacted. We’re not tracking damage to infrastructure or injuries at this time,” a US official told ABC News.

Iran did not specify why it targeted the alleged Mossad headquarters, but the strikes come about a month and a half after Israel killed a senior IRGC official in Syria. Iran has previously targeted the area in response to an Israeli attack, and Israeli assets are known to operate in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In March 2022, Iran launched strikes in Erbil after an Israeli attack on a drone facility in Kermanshah, Iran. At the time, a senior US official told The New York Times that the building Iran targeted did serve as an Israeli intelligence outpost and training facility. The official and another US official said Israel is known to have conducted intelligence operations against Iran from Kurdistan.

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After Monday’s strikes, the Kurdish Regional Government denied the idea that there are Israeli bases in the region. According to Rudaw, which is based in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran’s attack on Erbil killed at least four civilians and wounded 17.

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