Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has claimed responsibility for the March 13 ballistic missile strike on Erbil, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
In a statement, the IRGC said that the missile strike targeted a “strategic center of Zionist conspiracy and evil”. The guards confirmed that the strike was a response to the March 7 Israeli airstrikes on the Syrian capital, Damascus.
The Israeli airstrikes killed two officers of the guards, colonels Ehsan Karbalaipour and Morteza Saidnejad. Back then, the IRGC vowed to retaliate.
“Following the recent crimes of the fake Zionist regime and the previous announcement that the crimes and evils of this infamous regime will not go unanswered, the strategic center for conspiracy and evil of the Zionists was targeted by powerful and pinpoint missiles of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps,” the guards’ statement reads. “Once again, we warn the criminal Zionist regime that the repetition of any evil will face harsh, decisive and destructive responses.”
According to the available information, the IRGC launched at least 12 Fateh-110 tactical short-range ballistic missiles at Erbil.
The Interior Ministry of the Kurdistan Region Government said that the missiles, which targeted the US consulate’s new building in Erbil, caused only some material damage and one civilian was wounded.
A spokesman for the State Department called the Iranian missile strike an “outrageous attack” but said no Americans were hurt and there was no damage to US government facilities in Erbil.
The last time the IRGC fired ballistic missiles at US targets in Iraq was in January 2020. The attack was a retaliation for the US killing earlier that month of its military commander Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy-commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, at Baghdad airport.
The IRGC missile strike on Erbil came following a surprise halt of the international talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Any response by the US against Iran or its allies in Iraq and Syria could further harm the talks, which are already facing some serious problems.