On Sunday, the Islamic Republic of Iran officially claimed responsibility for a missile attack launched against Iraq, where the payload struck close to the American consulate located in Erbil.
ABC News reports that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard admitted on their website to orchestrating the attack, but tried to justify the incident by claiming, without evidence, that the target was an Israeli spying operation in the same city. Iran also claimed that the attack was retaliation for the alleged killing of two Revolutionary Guard members in Damascus, Syria, by an Israeli air strike.
Iran fired 10 Fateh missiles into the neighboring country, all of which landed close to the newly-constructed American consulate but ultimately did not harm any American citizens. Among the missiles used were Fateh-110 missiles, which have a travel range of 186 miles.
The Iraqi government lashed out at Iran, calling the attack a “violation of international law and norms.” The United States issued a similar condemnation, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan declaring that “we will support the Government of Iraq in holding Iran accountable, and we will support our partners throughout the Middle East in confronting similar threats from Iran.”
“The United States of America stands behind the full sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Iraq,” Sullivan continued.
American troops still stationed in Iraq are no longer serving combat roles, following an 8-year war from 2003 to 2011, and then another four years of fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from 2013 to 2017 when it attempted to topple Iraq. Nevertheless, the remaining American presence has been a top concern for the government of neighboring Iran, which remains hostile to the United States and its allies. Iran continues numerous acts of agitation throughout the region, as the top state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East.