A barrage of missiles hits Erbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital, and no injuries were reported
Kurdish officials said 12 ballistic missiles fired from outside Iraq landed on Erbil, the capital of the northern Kurdish region, on Sunday, adding that there were no casualties.
No party has claimed responsibility for the accident, and no other details are available. A spokesman for the US State Department described the attack as a “outrageous attack” but said that no Americans were injured and no US government facilities in Erbil were damaged.
And the official Iraqi television quoted the anti-terror force in the Kurdistan region as saying that 12 missiles fired from outside Iraq hit Erbil. It was not immediately clear where it landed.
US forces stationed at the Erbil International Airport complex have in the past come under fire from missile and drone attacks that US officials blame on armed groups allied with Iran, but no such attacks have occurred for several months.
The last time ballistic missiles were aimed at US forces was in January 2020 – Iranian retaliation for the US killing earlier that month of its military commander Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport.
No US military was killed in the 2020 attack, but many were shot in the head.
Iraq and neighboring Syria are regularly considered scenes of violence between the United States and Iran. Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias have attacked US forces in both countries, and Washington has sometimes responded with air strikes.
Iranian state media said this week that an Israeli air strike in Syria on Monday killed two members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. She added that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards vowed revenge.
Kurdish officials did not immediately say where the rockets landed. A spokesman for the regional authorities said there was no interruption in flights at Erbil airport.
Erbil residents posted videos online showing several large explosions, and some said the explosions shook their homes. Reuters was not able to independently verify those clips.
Another video of the explosions that occurred in Erbil.
Cool and peaceful pic.twitter.com/lMWY555Df4
By Mustafa Saadoun (@SaadoonMustafa) March 12, 2022, Iraq has experienced chronic instability since the defeat of the Sunni Islamic State in 2017 by a loose coalition of Iraqi forces led by the United States and backed by Iran.
The United States and many Iraqi officials say that militias allied with Iran have regularly attacked US military and diplomatic sites in Iraq since then. Iran denies involvement in the attacks.
Domestic politics also fueled violence.
Iraq’s political parties, most of which have armed wings, are currently locked in tense talks about forming a government after elections in October. Shiite factions close to Iran privately warn that they will resort to violence if they are excluded from any governing coalition.
Among the main political opponents of these groups is their powerful Shi’ite rival, populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has vowed to form a government that excludes Iran’s allies and includes Kurds and Sunnis.
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