Erbil attack was a response to Israeli drone strike inside Iran: report

March 14, 2022 - 18:20

TEHRAN – An Iranian news television has said that the missile attack launched by Iran against targets in Erbil was a response to a previously unreported Israeli drone attack in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Arabic-language Al-Alam news television said the missile attack launched by the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), which targeted the headquarters of Israel in Erbil, on Sunday morning, came in response to a recent Israeli drone attack in Mahidasht region in western Iran. 

The source stressed that Iran had been planning for a long time to respond to this Israeli attack, but “we were waiting for the circumstances in which Israel is the only one targeted with precision and sensitivity, and receives the appropriate response.”

In response to a question about the reason for choosing Erbil in Iraq to respond to Israel, the source stressed that Israel’s attack on Mahidasht took place from Iraqi Kurdistan and therefore Israel should have received an answer from the same region.

The informed source indicated that in a matter of a few hours, the dead and wounded of the IRGC operation were transferred to another Israeli headquarters in Erbil by air ambulance, while it was reported that the condition of some of the wounded was critical.

The source stressed the Islamic Republic warned against Israel’s moves in several stages and through various channels, but unfortunately these documented warnings were not taken into consideration by the concerned authorities.

According to the informed source, while the Israelis are not allowed, according to Iraqi law, to travel to this country and vice versa, the agents of Israel do not enjoy security privileges in any regional country as in the case of Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to the well-informed official, the two targeted buildings were built in a resistant and durable manner and for special uses, and they were a place for gathering and recreation of the Israelis in the region, and they are fully guarded by the Special Forces.

At least a dozen ballistic missiles landed inside a vast compound that Iran says is used by the Mossad, Israel’s external intelligence agency.

The missiles hit the compound early Sunday morning, wrecking damage to a set of buildings under construction and reportedly killing a number of agents.

The Beirut-based news television Al-Mayadeen said some agents were killed and injured in the attack. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the news channel said the attack was carried out with more than 10 precision-guided ballistic missiles that succeeded in targeting an Israeli intelligence and security headquarters in the vicinity of Erbil. The sources confirmed that the attack led to the destruction of the Mossad headquarters on the Masif road on the outskirt of Erbil.

The IRGC claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it targeted an Israeli “center of conspiracy” in the Kurdish city. “Following the recent crimes of the fake Zionist regime and the previous announcement that the crimes and evils of this infamous regime will not go unanswered, the strategic center for conspiracy and evil of the Zionists was targeted by powerful and pinpoint missiles of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps,” the IRGC said in a statement.

It also warned Israel against further moves against Iran. “Once again, we warn the criminal Zionist regime that the repetition of any evil will face harsh, decisive and destructive responses.” 

The statement added, “We also assure the great nation of Iran that the security and peace of the Islamic homeland is the red line of the armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and they will not allow anyone to threaten or attack it.”

The IRGC missile operation came nearly a week after the military organization vowed to give an answer to Israel over the Israeli targeting of two IRGC colonels near Damascus. Last week on Monday, Israel targeted a Damascus suburb. The attack resulted in the assassination of two senior IRGC officers identified as Colonel Ehsan Kabralaei-Pour and Colonel Morteza Saeid-Nejad.  

The Sunday attack, however, does not seem to be a response to this attack. The IRGC statement didn’t mention the Damascus attack. And Iranian media said the missile operation was a response to a previously unreported Israeli “mischiefs” conducted from Iraqi soil. 

A source familiar with the matter told the Tasnim news agency that Israel had carried out some “evil acts” from Iraqi Kurdistan and that the IRGC decided to give it a response whence it orchestrated its mischief. 

“Some of the recent Zionist atrocities against Iran have taken place from Iraqi soil, and for this reason, the Guards intended to punish the regime on the same soil,” the source told Tasnim.

The source also warned that Israel will receive a similar or even more powerful response if it continues its evil acts against Iran.

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