Video aired on Iranian broadcaster Irib News shows dozens of ballistic missiles hitting the city of Erbil, Iraq‘s northern Kurdish regional capital. The footage shows the missiles struck in quick succession, causing a large explosion visible from a distance. The sound of the hits reverberated across the city, with additional footage suggesting gunshots were later fired.
Footage taken from a driver on the road shows the missiles hitting caused an orange flare as they struck.
The ballistic missiles are believed to have been launched from outside Iraq.
Kurdish officials reported no casualties in the attack, which took place near Erbil’s international airport complex where US forces are stationed and the US Consulate.
The US State Department denounced the “outrageous attack” but confirmed no US soldier was hurt and no damage recorded to US Government facilities.
A State Department spokesperson said: “There is no damage or casualties at any U.S. Government facility. The incident is being investigated by the government of Iraq & the Kurdish Regional Government & we refer you to them for comment.
We condemn this outrageous attack and display of violence.”
Broadcaster Kurdistan 24 reported several damages to their headquarters, with footage showing the building in complete disarray following the attack.
No one has claimed the attack so far but the US have floated the suggestion of Iran-aligned armed groups being responsible.
US forces stationed in Erbil have come under attack from rocket and drone attacks in the past but no such action was recorded for several months.
Ballistic missiles were last aimed at US forces in January 2020 in retaliation for the killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.
Al Jazeera reporter Osama Bin Javaid said: “So far there is no official confirmation about these 12 missiles being fired from Iran but what we’re hearing from officials is that an investigation has been ordered to try to figure out where these missiles came from and what was the motive.”
An Iranian state-TV correspondent based in Iraq said that the missiles were aimed at “secret Israeli bases.”
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Iraq and neighbouring Syria are regularly the scene of violence between the United States and Iran.
Iran-backed Shi’ite Islamist militias have attacked US forces in both countries and Washington has on occasion retaliated with airstrikes.
An Israeli airstrike in Syria on Monday killed two members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Iranian state media said this week. The IRGC vowed to retaliate, it said.
Tehran suspended a fifth round of talks with regional rival Saudi Arabia that was due to take place in Baghdad on Wednesday.
Iraq has been rocked by chronic instability since the defeat of the Sunni Islamist group Islamic State in 2017 by a loose coalition of Iraqi, US-led, and Iran-backed forces.
Iraqi political parties, most of which have armed wings, are currently in tense talks over forming a government after an election in October.
Shi’ite militia groups close to Iran warn in private that they will resort to violence if they are left out of any ruling coalition.
The chief political foes of those groups include their powerful Shi’ite rival, the populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has vowed to form a government that leaves out Iran’s allies and includes Kurds and Sunnis.