Iran Launches Missile Strikes on ‘Secret Israeli Bases’ Beside U.S. Consulate in Iraq

On March 12 the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps launched a missile strike on the Iraqi city of Erbil, reporting that the attack targeted secret Israeli bases in the Kurdish majority region. Erbil is the capital of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, and the targets struck were near the American consulate located there. 

The Israeli target was described as a "strategic centre," with the Corps warning of a "harsh, decisive, and destructive response" in case of Israeli attacks. 8-12 missiles were reportedly launched as part of the attack, which is hardly the first time missiles from Iran were used to neutralise targets in Iraq or Syria. A notable prior strike in January 2020 saw U.S. forces take over 100 casualties when an American base in Iraq was attacked.

Israel has been widely reported to have an expanding presence in Iraq since the the mid-2000s, after the country’s main regional adversary the Ba’athist Iraqi Republic was overthrown in a U.S.-led invasion. Iran has been considered Israel’s leading regional adversary ever since, with both countries carrying out military operations in Iraq and Syria against one another. Iran has relied more on ground launched missiles for strikes beyond its territory, while Israel has relied primarily on aircraft usually firing cruise missiles from safe distances. 

The Iranian Air Force’s ability to conduct strikes beyond its borders remains limited, although the Revolutionary Guard Corps has seen its own combat aviation improve substantially over the past five years as the country’s development of a range of combat drones, including flying wing stealth aircraft, has provided it with a formidable asset. 



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