Iran Launches Missile Strikes on Multiple Targets Across the Region
In a significant escalation of tensions, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of the Iranian armed forces, carried out ballistic missile attacks on Monday night. The primary target was identified as the “headquarters of spies” in Erbil, northern Iraq. The IRGC claimed the strike was a response to perceived provocations by the Zionist regime and cited the destruction of an alleged Mossad center in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
While Iraqi officials denied any connection to Mossad, ten missiles reportedly landed near the U.S. Consulate in Erbil, with no reported impact on U.S. facilities. According to the Kurdistan Regional Security Council, at least four civilians lost their lives, and six were injured in the attack. Among the casualties were prominent Kurdish businessman Peshraw Dizayi, his daughter Zhina, a foreign babysitter, and an acquaintance named Karam Mikhail.
Simultaneously, coalition forces reportedly thwarted three drones near Erbil airport, leading to a suspension of air traffic. The U.S. State Department condemned the strikes, calling them “reckless” and a threat to Iraq’s stability.
In response to the attacks, Iraq recalled its ambassador from Tehran and summoned Iran’s chargé d’affaires in Baghdad, announcing its intention to file a complaint with the United Nations Security Council.
Iran fires missiles at Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan, killing at least 6 civilians: what to know https://t.co/9louAFvH6M
— TIME (@TIME) January 17, 2024
The IRGC also claimed responsibility for a separate missile attack in Syria, targeting individuals allegedly involved in recent bombings. In a surprising move, Iranian state media reported an attack on two bases of a militant group in Pakistan, though these reports were later removed. Pakistani officials confirmed damage to a mosque and reported two children killed, leading to the summoning of Iran’s chargé d’affaires by Pakistan’s foreign ministry.
These developments unfold against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the Middle East, fueled by the Israel-Hamas conflict. Proxy conflicts between the U.S. and Iran, supporters of Israel and Hamas respectively, have intensified, with regional allies being drawn into the fray. The recent strikes in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels in Yemen, backed by Iran, prompted a significant retaliation by the U.S. and U.K., raising concerns about the potential for a broader regional conflict.