(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) Iran is claiming credit for firing more than a dozen missiles over the weekend near the US consulate in Erbil, Iraq, but Iraqi and American officials have not reported casualties or injuries.
“The strikes were an outrageous violation of Iraq’s sovereignty,” the State Department said in a statement. “Iran must immediately cease its attacks, respect Iraqi sovereignty, and halt its interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.”
The United States military still has troops stationed in Iraq. The forces reportedly train and support Iraq’s military as it fights the Islamic State.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps acknowledged that it launched the strike, calling it “revenge” for an Israeli strike in Syria that killed four people last week, reported The Times.
“The strategic centre of the Zionist conspiracy and evil was targeted by IRGC missiles,” the Iranian media said in a statement. “Following the recent crimes of the fake Zionist regime, the strategic centre for conspiracy and evil of the Zionists was targeted by powerful missiles and the [might] of the IRGC.”
Iran has demanded that the United States military withdraw from the Middle East or else face repeated attacks.
Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie said that America’s continued presence in Iraq “may trigger more attacks.”
Iran also claimed that the missiles strikes targeted “secret Israeli bases” in the area, The Times of Israel reported.
Professor Eyal Zisser, who studies the Middle East at Tel Aviv University, said that Iran targets Iraqi and American officials and troops to punish Israel and its friends.
“Iran says Israel is targeting its men and this week Israel crossed a red line when it killed two Iranians,” adding that “in lieu of a direct response, the easiest next step was to find a nearby target.”