This Article is From Jan 16, 2024

Iran Strikes Israeli "Spy Headquarters" In Iraq As Regional Tensions Mount

It added that the attack was in "response to the recent crimes of the terrorist groups that unjustly martyred a group of our dear compatriots in Kerman and Rask".

Iran said that attack in Syria was a retaliation for twin suicide bombings in Iran this month.


Iran's Revolutionary Guards have launched missile attacks on multiple "terrorist" targets in Syria and in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, state media reported Tuesday.

The attacks destroyed "a spy headquarters" and a "gathering of anti-Iranian terrorist groups" in Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, the official IRNA news agency reported, quoting a statement by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Four people were killed and six others wounded in the attack, according to Iraq's Kurdistan security council.

The prominent businessman Peshraw Dizayee was among several civilians who were killed, the Kurdistan Democratic Party said.

The IRGC also hit targets in Syria with ballistic missiles, including the "gathering places of commanders and main elements related to recent terrorist operations, particularly the Islamic State group", their Sepah News service reported.

It added that the strike on Syria was in response to recent attacks by terrorist groups that killed Iranians in the southern cities of Kerman and Rask.

The United States has condemned the attacks, terming the strikes "reckless". 

"The United States strongly condemns Iran's attacks in Erbil today and offers condolences to the families of those who were killed. We oppose Iran's reckless missile strikes, which undermine Iraq's stability," US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

Explosions were heard in Aleppo and its countryside, where "at least 4 missiles that came from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea" fell, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said.

On January 3, suicide bombers struck crowds gathered near the tomb of the revered IRGC general Qasem Soleimani in Kerman, killing around 90 people. The attack was later claimed by IS.

In December, at least 11 Iranian police officers were killed in an attack on a police station in Rask. The jihadist group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which was formed in 2012 and is blacklisted by Iran as a "terrorist" group, claimed responsibility.

Israeli 'spy operations'

The IRGC also said it had struck alleged Israeli "spy headquarters" in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, Iran's IRNA news agency reported.

It said the headquarters had served as "the centre for developing espionage operations and planning terrorist actions in the region," naming Israel's Mossad spy organisation.

The Guards said the strike was in response to recent attacks on Iran and the "axis of resistance" of Iran-aligned groups, which have raised concerns about violence spreading from Israel's war in Gaza.

Regional tensions have spiked during the war between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, drawing in Iran-backed armed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

In March 2022, the IRGC carried out missile attacks in Arbil, claiming to target a "strategic centre" belonging to arch-foe Israel.

On December 25, Iran said an Israeli strike killed the senior Guards commander Razi Moussavi.

And on January 8, Israel killed Wissam Hassan Tawil, a top commander of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon, according to a security source.

His death came shortly after an Israeli missile strike on Beirut killed Saleh al-Aruri, a senior leader of Hamas which is also supported by Iran.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)