Antichrist to investigate alleged Israeli base in Erbil

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (left), and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani (right). Photo: AFP; Barzani's office

Barzani, Sadr to investigate alleged Israeli base in Erbil


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani and influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr agreed on Sunday afternoon to form a committee to investigate the existence of an Israeli base in Erbil, after allegations of its presence were made by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as justification for Sunday morning’s attack on the city.

Under the pretext of hitting an Israeli base, a dozen ballistic missiles targeted the US consulate building in Erbil early Sunday morning, landing in nearby residential neighborhoods, and injuring two civilians.

The IRGC on Sunday afternoon claimedresponsibility for targeting “the strategic center of the Zionist conspiracy and evil by point-to-point missile,” Iranian state media reported, without mentioning Erbil or the Kurdistan Region by name.

Barzani and Sadr exchanged words regarding the recent missile attack in Erbil, Barzani headquarters said in a statement.

The two leaders agreed to form an investigative committee to “uncover the truth regarding the pretext of the existence of Israeli headquarters in Erbil, which has been used as an excuse for the attack,” the statement added.

Following the IRGC’s statement, Sadr released a response calling for a note of protest to be given to Iran for violating Iraq’s sovereignty, while also mentioning that the so-called Israeli locations should be investigated as soon as possible “so that it cannot be used as an excuse to disturb the security of Iraq and its people.”

The KDP politburo also released a statement on Sunday evening, condemning the incident and calling it “a failed, inimical attack” on the capital of the Kurdistan Region. The statement urged all parties in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to put serious efforts into preventing such attacks, and expressed expectations for clear and strict response from the international community.

“Allegedly under the pretext of hitting an Israeli base near the US Consulate in Erbil, [the attack] targeted civilian locations and its justification is only to hide the disgracefulness of such offense. We reiterate that the propaganda of the perpetrators of this attack is far from true,” read a statement by the KRG on Sunday, calling on the international community to urgently investigate the “baseless attack.”

Widely blamed on Iran-backed militia groups, the Kurdistan Region and Iraq have previously come under several rocket and drone attacks, with the airports and US bases being the main target.

There have been at least 30 reported rocket and drone attacks on bases and facilities housing US forces and personnel in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region last year, according to data compiled by Rudaw English.

However, ballistic missiles were last used on January 8, 2020, when Iran attacked an Iraqi air base in retaliation for the killing of top Iranian Commander Qasem Soleimani, injuring dozens of US troops suffered brain injuries. 

Updated at 7:03 pm

By Chenar Chalak

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