THE US consulate in Erbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, was targeted by 12 long-range missiles, according to local reports.
Reuters reported that a missile attack on Erbil was launched from outside Iraq. Iraqi state media says, quoting anti-terrorism forces in Kurdistan told the agency said that 12 ballistic missiles were fired.
Saman Barzanji, health minister in Iraq’s Kurdistan Province, claimed there were “No victims or casualties after Erbil blasts”.According to the reports, the missiles landed in the vicinity of the US consulate.
Al Arabiya reported that a “series of explosions” impacted the city following missile attacks, citing Kurdish sources.
PM Masrour Barzani said “We won’t bow for the cowards. I strongly condemn tonight’s multiple attacks on Erbil, and ask the civilians to follow the instructions of the security forces.”
According to Deputy Minister Hiwa Afandi, more than three explosions were heard but Erbil International Airport, where US military forces are stationed, was not believed to be the target.
He tweeted: “The missiles used this time were different, bigger, more accurate and I believe require proper launch systems.”
Mr Afandi, citing US sources, reported that none of the missiles had hit their targets and at time of writing no casualties have been reported.
According to reports, several citizens have been injured in Erbil governorate by shrapnel from the missile which is reported to have come from Iran.
This is not the first time that Erbil has been attacked.
Last year in April, an explosive-laden drone hit the coalition’s Iraq headquarters in the military part of the airport at Erbil.
Then in May, an explosive drone hit the Ain Al Asad airbase housing US troops in western Iraq, and three more struck near Baghdad International Airport, where US soldiers are based, on June 9.
According to Kurdistan 24 reporter Barzan Sadiq, the Kurdistan 24 studio in the area was reportedly damaged in the attack as well.
The missile attack came as negotiations to return to the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran stalled in Vienna.