Dubai: A US diplomatic mission and a 'secret Israeli intelligence' base in northern Iraq came under a massive missile attack on Sunday. The missile strike came apparently in retaliation of an Israeli attack on an Iranian military unit in Syria on Wednesday which had left two revolutionary guard members dead with Iran promising a crushing response.
Iraqi security officials said 12 ballistic missiles struck at the US consulate and a nearby 'secret' military base used by Israeli spy agency Mossad in the northern city of Irbil Sunday morning.
Iranian news agency IRNA also reported that "secret Israeli base" were targeted in the attack.
A US official said the missiles were launched from neighboring Iran.
The massive attack came three days after an Israeli strike near Damascus, Syria, killed two members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Iran had strongly condemned the attack and vowed revenge.
Pan Arab Al Mayadeen news channel cited Iranian sources as saying that the attack was not related to Israel's killing of two Iranian Revolutionary Guard members in Syria last week, but rather to other Israeli operations against Iranian targets.
The report said that the ballistic missiles were fired at Mossad headquarters in Irbil, and that there have been casualties at the site.
Officials gave different accounts of damage. A US official said missiles hit the consulate, but a second American official later said there was no damage and no casualties at any US government facility.
Iraqi authorities said several missiles had hit the US consulate. The consulate building is new and currently unoccupied.
Irbil is the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq.
The U.S. presence in Iraq has long been a flash point for Tehran, but tensions spiked after a January 2020 U.S. drone strike near the Baghdad airport killed a top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
In retaliation, Iran launched a barrage of missiles at Ain al-Asad airbase, where U.S. troops were stationed. More than 100 service members suffered traumatic brain injuries in the blasts.
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