(UnitedHeadlines.com) – Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are claiming responsibility for Jan. 15 missile strikes in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region that killed a prominent local businessman.
In a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, Iran said it struck the headquarters of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. Iran says the 10 missile strikes, which exploded close to the U.S. consulate, targeted “spy headquarters and the gathering of anti-Iranian terrorist groups.” Iran has long maintained that a secret base used by the spy agency Mossad, is operated by Israel in Erbil.
The security council of the Kurdish regional government said four civilians, including multimillionaire businessman Pershraw Dizayi, and Hemin Hawrami, a former deputy speaker of Iraqi Kurdistan’s parliament, were killed in the attack, and six were wounded.
Dizayi’s home, which was close to the former Kurdish ruler, the home of a senior Kurdish intelligence official and a Kurdish intelligence center were all struck by rockets. According to a U.S. official, U.S. facilities were hit or damaged by the missile strikes. The U.S. has troops at the Harir Air Base in the city and operates a consulate in Erbil.
White House national security council spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated that the U.S. tracked the missiles, adding that it appeared to be a “reckless and imprecise set of strikes.”
The rocket strikes are a “crime against the Kurdish people,” according to Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.
The Iran Revolutionary Guards also said they also struck “terrorist operations,” including a separate attack on Islamic State targets in Syria. The attacks come after Iran vowed to get revenge for the deaths of three Guards members in December who had been serving as military advisers in Syria.
The attacks come as concern grows over the Israel and Hamas war spreading in the region as tensions continue to grow. Other attacks in response to the war, including by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, have altered shipping in the Red Sea.
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