Iran’s Blatant Attack on Northern Iraq Prompts Recall of Iraqi Ambassador

IRBIL, Iraq – The Iraqi government has taken significant diplomatic actions against Iran following Iranian strikes on northern Iraq that resulted in the deaths of several civilians. Iraq has recalled its ambassador from Tehran for consultations and summoned Iran’s chargĂ© d’affaires in Baghdad in response to what it called “a blatant violation” of its sovereignty. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry stated that the Iranian attacks contradict the principles of good neighborliness, international law, and threaten regional security.

According to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the country launched missiles at positions belonging to the extremist Islamic State group in northern Syria and at what it claimed were Israeli “spy headquarters” in an upscale neighborhood near the U.S. Consulate compound in the city of Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdish region. The adviser for national security affairs to Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, Qassim al-Araji, commented on Iran’s claims of targeting a Mossad headquarters, calling them baseless.

These strikes by Iran come after the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings earlier this month during a commemoration for an Iranian general who was killed in a 2020 U.S. drone strike. The suicide bombings resulted in the deaths of at least 84 people and injured 284 others, and were in tribute to Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Iran had previously accused Israel of killing a high-ranking Iranian general in an airstrike on a Damascus neighborhood.

It remains unclear whether the strikes in Syria hit any targets linked to the Islamic State group. Mounir al-Mustafa, deputy director of the civil defense in northwest Syria, reported that one of the strikes in Idlib targeted a medical clinic that was no longer operating. He stated that two civilians suffered minor injuries. Sami al-Qassim, a resident near the targeted site, confirmed that the clinic was empty and that there were no militant activities in the area. In Irbil, the strikes killed at least four people, including Peshraw Dizayi, a prominent local businessman, and members of his family.

The United States has condemned the missile strikes, describing them as “reckless.” Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the State Department, expressed the U.S.’s disapproval of Iran’s actions. In response, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani stated that the strikes in Iraq and Syria were in defense of the country’s sovereignty and security, countering terrorism, and serving as a punishment against those who threaten Iran’s security.

The strikes have sparked demonstrations in Irbil, where a few hundred protestors voiced their opposition to the attacks. The situation remains tense between Iraq and Iran as Iraq continues to protest the violation of its sovereignty. The Iraqi government’s recall of its ambassador reflects its determination to defend its territorial integrity and maintain stability within the region. The international community will be closely watching the developments and hoping for a swift resolution to prevent further escalation.