According to US officials, strike missiles landing near a new US consulate under construction in northern Iraq originated from Iran.
The compound was not attacked and Americans were not injured, US officials said. They did not know what was being targeted and added that the attack was still under investigation.
As many as six missiles were involved in the attack, with at least one landing more than 2 km (1.2 miles) away from the new compound, according to US officials familiar with the preliminary report.
In recent years, a series of attacks by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq have been carried out using drones and rockets, but such strikes rarely originate from Iran’s territory. For comments.
US officials said the missile attack could have been a retaliation for Israeli airstrikes in Syria on Monday, which killed two members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Israel is conducting air strikes on Iran-backed militias and Syrian Iranian personnel in an attempt to prevent Iran from transferring weapons to the Lebanese militia group Hezbollah. The campaign involves placing mines on ships carrying oil and other goods to Syria.
The Iranians have previously tried to pressure the United States to detain Israeli allies.
In October, Iran directed five drones to the Altanfu garrison in southern Syria. This garrison is protected by a small unit of US troops and US-trained Syrian fighters. U.S. officials said they were responding to an Israeli airstrike that killed two Iranian officers in Syria.
In January, a large US legation in Baghdad was hit by four rockets, injuring at least two people, but not the Americans. The attack originated from within Baghdad and is believed to have been carried out by an Iran-backed militia group. ..
A State Department spokesman did not give details of the new rocket attack, its origin, or what the target was.
“The case is being investigated by the Iraqi and Kurdish local governments. We condemn the manifestations of this exorbitant attack and violence,” a State Department statement said.
The United States has a consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, and is building a new consulate eight miles from the city center.
A strike occurred as Washington rushed to complete negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. The agreement could also lead to the release of US detainees, which was almost complete until Russia demanded a new trade with Iran. Ukrainian sanctions are exempt, according to Western officials.
In January 2020, Iran launched a ballistic missile at the Al-Assad base in western Iraq, where US troops were deployed. This was in retaliation for President Trump’s decision to order a drone strike that killed Major Kasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian militia Kood. Power.
Write to Gordon Lubold at Gordon.Lubold@wsj.com and Michael R.Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org
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