Iran announced early Tuesday, January 16, that it had launched several salvos of ballistic missiles on “terrorist” targets in Syria and Iraq, killing at least “four civilians” in Iraqi Kurdistan according to local authorities.

On the outskirts of Erbil, capital of autonomous Kurdistan in northern Iraq, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards claimed to have targeted and destroyed “a spy headquarters” which they attributed to Israel, as did was targeted “a gathering of anti-Iranian terrorist groups,” according to the official IRNA news agency. If Iraq criminalizes any contact with Israel, politicians from autonomous Kurdistan have been able to be complacent on the subject in the past. But the official line of Kurdistan remains cautious and denies any relationship or desire for normalization with Israel.

At least “four civilians” were killed and six others injured in Iranian missile fire, the authorities of the autonomous region announced in a statement, specifying that some of the injured were in “critical condition.” An Agence France-Presse correspondent in Erbil heard several loud explosions, as the missiles hit an upscale residential area northeast of the Kurdistan capital.

The ruling party in Erbil, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), also reported the deaths of civilians, including a real estate tycoon, Peshraw Dizayee, his wife and other members of his family, their homes having been destroyed. touch.

Washington condemns the strikes

In a statement, the Kurdistan Security Council accused Tehran of resorting to “baseless justifications” for its repeated bombings against the region. “What happened is a blatant violation of the sovereignty of the region and of Iraq. The federal government and the international community must not remain silent in the face of these crimes,” the statement said.

The United States condemned these attacks carried out by Iran in Iraqi Kurdistan and affirmed that it was “opposed” to these “irresponsible missile strikes” which “undermine the stability of Iraq”, according to a press release from the Department of Defense. ‘State.

According to IRNA, the attack in Erbil comes in retaliation for the recent assassinations of several commanders of the Revolutionary Guards but also of leaders of the “axis of resistance”, the name given to Tehran’s allies in its fight against Israel. On January 2, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, a strike attributed to Israel killed Hamas number two, Saleh Al-Arouri, and six other officials and executives of the Palestinian Islamist movement. In mid-January, Wissam Tawil, a senior military official of the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah, was killed in southern Lebanon by a strike also attributed to Israel.

In Syria, an attack against ISIS in retaliation for recent attacks

Furthermore, the guard corps also announced that it had identified in Syria “the gathering places of commanders and main elements linked to recent terrorist operations, in particular the Islamic State” (IS) and to have “destroyed them by firing a certain number of ballistic missiles”. He explained that this attack was carried out in “response to the recent crimes of terrorist groups who unjustly martyred a number of our dear compatriots in Kerman and Rask”.

On January 3, attackers carried out a suicide attack on a crowd gathered in Kerman, southern Iran, during a memorial ceremony near the tomb of General Qassem Soleimani, the former architect of Iran’s military operations in the Middle East, killed in January 2020 by a US strike in Iraq. The attack, claimed by ISIS, left around 90 dead and many injured.

The strikes carried out by Iran on the night of Monday to Tuesday come in a tense regional context, against the backdrop of the war in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian Hamas which is raising fears of a regional conflagration between the allies of the two camps.