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Missile Attacks on Erbil Near US Consulate Targeted ‘secret Israeli bases’ – Iranian Report

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Missile Attacks on Erbil Near US Consulate in Iraq’s northern Kurdish regional capital were aimed at “secret Israeli bases,” an Iranian state-TV correspondent based in Iraq said on Sunday.

A dozen ballistic missiles launched from outside Iraq struck Erbil earlier in the day, Kurdish officials said, adding there were no casualties.

Some 12 missiles were fired from Iranian territory and fell near the US consulate in Erbil in northwestern Iraq on Saturday night.

Independent open-source intelligence (OSINT) accounts shared videos reportedly shared by Iranian civilians showing missiles being fired from Iran at the time of the attack, with at least one of the videos being geolocated to a site in Khasabad in the East Azerbaijan province of Iran.

Shiite cleric and Iraqi politician Muqtada al-Sadr responded with outrage to the missile attack, tweeting shortly after the attack “In the name of God, Irbil is under the fire of loss and betrayal, and under pain of starvation, as if the Kurds were not Iraqis. Rather, they are the lung of Iraq and its indivisible part.”

“Erbil will not kneel except for moderation, independence and sovereignty.  Peace and love for you, Erbil, and you Kurds, and patience until the achievement of: #National_Majority_Government,” tweeted al-Sadr.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi responded to the attack as well, tweeting: “The aggression which targeted the dear city of Erbil and spread fear amongst its inhabitants is an attack on the security of our people. I discussed these developments with the KRG PM. Our security forces will investigate and stand firm against any threats towards our people.”

Prime minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, responded to the attack on Saturday night, writing “Erbil does not bow to cowards. I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on parts of Erbil and call on the brave and patient people of Erbil to be patient and to follow the instructions of the security agencies. I thank you for your patience.”

The US State Department stated that there were no damages or casualties caused at any US government facility and that the incident was being investigated by the Iraqi government and Kurdish Regional Government, according to CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan. The State Department condemned the attack.

The missile attack came as negotiations to return to the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran stalled in Vienna.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted on Friday that the talks in Vienna needed a “pause,” due to “external factors.” Borrell added that a final text is “essentially ready and on the table.”

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stated on Saturday that there were at least one or two key issues that the US and Iran had not yet reached an agreement on. He added that the two states disagree on how sanctions should be lifted, with Iran wanting more sectors released from sanctions and the US wanting less.

Iranian officials stated that it is unclear when negotiations will resume.

No party has taken responsibility for the missile fire as of yet. Iran has threatened retaliation in recent days for the deaths of two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers in an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria last week.

Iran-backed militias reportedly targeted the Al-Tanf base, where US forces are housed, in October in retaliation for an alleged Israeli airstrikes which targeted Iranian-backed forces in Syria last year.

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