Overnight Sunday, Iran launched some 12 ballistic missiles that landed near the US consulate building in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq. According to one US official, there were no reports of casualties. However, An Iraqi official in Baghdad initially reported that several missiles had hit the consulate building. Eventually, a high official in Kurdistan’s foreign media office confirmed the American version that the missiles did not hit the consulate, but some landed around the consulate compound.
According to pro-Iranian sources, the missiles launched were Fateh 110, a.k.a. NP-110, an Iranian road-mobile single-stage solid-fueled surface-to-surface missile produced by Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization.
Some sources on social media suggested the Iranian missiles landed in Erbil at exactly 1:20 AM (local time), the exact time Qasem Soleimani, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ glorified leader, was assassinated by the Trump administration. Except that the assassination took place in January 2020. Unless they were using the Lunar calendar. Maybe.
The Iranian news agency Tasnim’s coverage of the story was headlined: “US Base, Mossad Training Centers in Northern Iraq Targeted in Ballistic Missile Attack: Reports.” It cited “reports suggesting that Washington’s new consulate building and two advanced training centers run by the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, in Erbil have been targeted in the missile attack.”
Tasnim also said that “a fire has been also reported at the airbase housing the American troops in Erbil while sirens have gone off at US consulate there.” It also cited “some reports” that indicated “alarm sirens have also been activated in the US embassy inside the highly secured Green Zone of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.”
IRNA cited Iraqi media reports that “two bases of the Israeli Intelligence and Special Operations Organization (Mossad) in the city of Erbil in the Iraqi Kurdistan region were targeted by missiles.”
According to IRNA, Iraqi media quoted security sources as saying that “the two bases were advanced training centers of the Zionist regime (Mossad) in Iraq, which were targeted by ballistic missiles. In this regard, the Iraqi Security Information Headquarters announced in a statement that the city of Erbil was targeted by several missiles on Sunday morning and that an investigation is underway.”
Sabreen News, which is affiliated with the Iranian militias, reported that dozens of explosions shook the city of Erbil Sunday morning, but stressed that “yesterday’s operation was not a response to the recent harassment of IRGC officers in Syria, and the response to the killing of our leaders will be in the place and time chosen by the resistance.”
Kurdish prime minister Masrour Barzani issued a statement saying: “We condemn this terrorist attack launched against several sectors of Erbil, we call on the inhabitants to remain calm.”
On a separate but related note, IRNA reported on Saturday night that the Director-General of Intelligence of West Azerbaijan had stated that “during the past month, the anonymous soldiers of Imam Zaman inflicted heavy blows on the largest spy network of the Zionist regime in this province.”
West Azerbaijan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran, located in its northwestern corner and bordered by Turkey, Iraq, and Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
The Director General of Intelligence of West Azerbaijan added: “The thugs hired by the Zionist regime’s intelligence service in this network were attracted only for the money and intended to sabotage it.”