12 missiles hit targets in Kurdistan on Sunday. Iran says it was a revenge act against Israeli centers in Erbil.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps has claimed responsibility for the attack against positions in Northern Iraq. The missile strikes targeted Erbil, the capital of the country’s Kurdish region.
In a statement published hours after the attack, the IRGC said they were targeting Israeli “strategic center” in the region. “Any repetition of attacks by Israel will be met with a harsh, decisive and destructive response,” part of the statement read.
As such, the Iranian ballistic missiles meant to revenge for an Israeli strike against Iranian position in Syria. Earlier this week, Israel killed two Iranian soldiers from the IRGC forces in an attack in the vicinity of Damascus.
This is while the first reports from Iraq indicated an attack against US under-construction consulate in Erbil. Before IRGC claimed the attack, Kurdish authorities announced unknown sources from outside Iraq hit the region with 12 ballistic missiles. Erbil Governor believed that the target was the US Consulate as he noticed in a talk with local television.
Reports about the potential casualties of the attack is yet to be confirmed by local sources and Israeli officials. Kurdistan Minister of interior suggested that the rockets inflicted destruction to new consulate facility, while certifying injury of a person. Rebar Ahmed Khalid, however, failed to refer to the human casualties following the attack.
An American State Department official described the move as outrageous while claiming there were no injuries. He also rejected the reports about damages to the US government buildings in Erbil.
Iranian local news outlets published a list of potential victim that are yet to be confirmed. Iran’s list includes Israeli delegates to the region who were implementing a confidential mission.
Erbil; Center for A New Wave?
Iranian official statement regarding at attack was revealing in multiple dimensions. First, Israel has secret mission in Northern Iran with unknown plans. This is while Iraq has no official relationship with Israel, considering it as an illegal state.
Second, Iran once more proved its insistence on keeping the pledge to revenge. After the Israeli attack in Syria which killed two of the IRGC force, the especial forces vowed it would not remain unresponded by the Iranian side.
A third dimension comes into light when we understand that the attack occurred at the same time that the US drone assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani two years ago. The incident instigated the last Iranian missile attack inside Iraqi soils days later after the January 3 raids on Baghdad airport.
As such, Iran means to refer to the new ballistic missile strike in Erbil as part of its grand revenge plan. Following the assassination of its commander, Iran claimed the Al-Assad Airbase operation would be the start of a revenge process.
A fourth aspect relates the resignation of the Iran-Israel duel that has been under cover for a period of time. Harassed by the Iranian nuclear program, Israel decided to target some facilities using secret agents. In revenge, Iran recurrently targeted Israeli positions in Syria and elsewhere. Now, Iraq joins the centerpieces of the challenge.
The new wave of hostilities occurs as talks for reviving nuclear deal with Iran in on hold for curious reasons. Israel in a recalcitrant critic of the deal, calling it insufficient to contain the Iranian activities.
The Erbil attack may have meant that Iran would not lose the hard fist while ready for the negotiating table. Tel Aviv most potentially received the message and may gear up for the next move.