Iraq Recalls Envoy from Iran, Condemns Missile Strikes on Kurdish Region

Tue Jan 16 2024
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BAGHDAD: Iraq has summoned Iran’s envoy in Baghdad and recalled its ambassador from Tehran in protest against Iranian missile strikes on its Kurdish region. Iran claimed that the strikes targeted Israel’s intelligence services in retaliation for recent Israeli assassinations of Iranian and pro-Iranian commanders.

Iraq, rejecting Iran’s claim, announced its intention to file a complaint with the UN Security Council, citing the missile strikes as an “attack on its sovereignty.” The tensions escalate amidst broader unrest in the Middle East, with Israel engaged in battles against Hamas.

The missile strikes conducted by Iran, which also targeted alleged Islamic State group locations in Syria, drew condemnation from the United States. The strikes resulted in four casualties and six injuries in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Iran Defends its Strikes as Targeted Operation

Iran defended its actions, characterizing the strikes as a “targeted operation” and “just punishment” against those perceived to threaten its security. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards claimed responsibility for destroying the “Zionist regime’s spy headquarters in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.”

The reprisals, according to the Guards, are a response to recent actions by Israel, including the killing of senior commander Razi Moussavi in Syria. The Guards vowed to continue their actions until the last drops of the martyrs’ blood are avenged.

Iraq’s foreign ministry pledged to publish the findings of its official investigation, aiming to refute the allegations made by those responsible for the missile strikes. The autonomous Kurdish region’s prime minister, Masrour Barzani, expressed his intent to engage with the international community to stop the attacks.

The United States condemned the Iranian strikes as “reckless” and expressed opposition to actions that undermine Iraq’s stability. The White House clarified that no US personnel or facilities were affected by the missile strikes.

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