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15 Jan, 2024 22:11

Iran fires missiles at ‘terrorists and spies’ near US consulate

The attacks in Iraq and Syria were a reprisal for the January 3 Kerman bombing, the IRGC has said
Iran fires missiles at ‘terrorists and spies’ near US consulate

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) says it used ballistic missiles against an ISIS base in Syria and a stronghold of the Israeli spy service Mossad in Iraq on Monday, in retaliation for recent terrorist bombings in Iran.

Two explosions killed almost 100 people in Kerman on January 3, as pilgrims gathered to honor the late General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by the US in 2020. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) claimed responsibility. Last month, another suicide bombing in the town of Rask killed 11 Iranian police. It was blamed on the Pakistani-based group Jaish Al-Adl.

“In response to the recent crimes of the terrorist groups that unjustly martyred a group of our dear compatriots in Kerman and Rask, we have identified gathering places of commanders and elements of ISIS related to recent terrorist operations in the occupied territories of Syria and destroyed them by firing a number of ballistic missiles,” the IRGC said in a statement.

In a follow-up statement, the IRGC said it also used missiles against “one of the main espionage headquarters of the Zionist regime [Mossad] in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.”

The attack was “in response to the recent evils of the Zionist regime in martyring the commanders of the Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Resistance Front,” it added.

“We assure our beloved nation that the offensive operations of the IRGC will continue until the last drops of martyrs’ blood are avenged,” the group said.

While the announcements did not specify the location of either strike, reports from Iraq indicate that the missiles struck the city of Erbil. Iran has attacked alleged Israeli targets in Erbil before, in March 2022, in reprisal over airstrikes in Syria that killed two IRGC officers.

The suspected Mossad base was near the US consulate in Erbil, leading to mistaken reports that the Americans had been targeted.

An Iraqi security source told ABC News that four people were killed in Erbil, but that no American troops were among them. The same source said that “eight locations” near the US consulate had been hit.

Iranian media has circulated several videos purporting to show the missiles being launched. There were unconfirmed reports of multiple explosions and gunfire in Erbil, presumably from air defenses attempting to engage the incoming projectiles.

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