Update (03.13.2022 1158ET): Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has claimed responsibility for a missile strike on what it called an Israeli "strategic center" located in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, located in northern Iraq, according to Bloomberg, citing the Revolutionary Guard's official news portal, Sepah News.
The semi-official Tasnim news agency, which is closely aligned to the IRGC, said 10 precision-guided missiles were fired from northwestern Iran, citing an informed source that it didn’t name. The report added that the strike “very likely” resulted in “many casualties” without providing any details. -Bloomberg
Nobody was hurt or killed in the attack, according to US Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, denying earlier reports that the US consulate was the target and had been hit. Sherman told Fox News that the incident was of "great concern to all of us," and amounted to attacking Iraq's sovereignty.
As we noted last night, the attack comes days after Iran vowed revenge for an Israeli missile attack near Damascus, Syria which killed two IRGC members. According to a Sunday statement by Sepah, there will be a "severe and destructive response" to any future attacks from Israel.
* * *
Update (2130ET): Initial reports that missiles 'struck' the US Embassy in Erbil, Iraq have been downgraded.
A dozen ballistic missiles launched from outside the country did hit the northern Kurdish regional capital on Sunday - however there were no casualties, and no parties have claimed responsibility.
According to Reuters, a US State Department spokesperson called it an "outrageous attack," however no Americans were hurt - nor was there any damage to US government facilities in Erbil.
U.S. forces stationed at Erbil's international airport complex have in the past come under fire from rocket and drone attacks that U.S. officials blame on Iran-aligned militia groups, but no such attacks have occurred for several months. -Reuters
Kurdish officials did not reveal where the missiles struck - however a spokesperson for regional authorities said there were no flight interruptions at Erbil airport, according to the report.
* * *
The US consulate in Erbil, Iraq has been hit with multiple missiles, which has been attributed to Iran in early, yet unconfirmed reports. Sky News Arabia reports that the consulate, located in Kurdistan, was hit. No casualties have been reported, a US official told Reuters.
FATAH 110 MISSILES EN ROUTE FROM TABRIZ, IRAN TOWARDS US CONSULATE IN ERBIL IRAQ— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) March 12, 2022
Fateh 110s impacting Erbil pic.twitter.com/dg3C5lgcCY— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) March 12, 2022
According to BBC journalist Shabnam Shabani, "The governor of Erbil, Omed Khoshnaw, stated that multiple missiles fell in the area, saying it was unclear whether the target was the US consulate or the airport in the city. According to INA, five explosions were heard in the attack."
“The governor of Erbil, Omed Khoshnaw, stated that multiple missiles fell in the area, saying it was unclear whether the target was the US consulate or the airport in the city. According to INA, five explosions were heard in the attack.”— Shabnam Shabani (@ShabnamShabani) March 12, 2022
BREAKING - Missile attack on Erbil was launched from OUTSIDE Iraq, 12 ballistic missiles fired, Iraqi state media says, quoting anti-terrorism forces in Kurdistan - Reuters— Phil Stewart (@phildstewart) March 13, 2022
Another journalist, José Miguel Sardo, reports that the Kurdistan News Channel appears to have also been targeted.
MAP BREAK— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 12, 2022
Erbil, Iraq pic.twitter.com/zagwNq2IWQ
It is being reported right now that a number of missiles were fired towards the US consulate in Erbil in northwestern Iraq on Saturday night.pic.twitter.com/TQwmkWFsKr— David Yankovich (@DavidYankovich) March 12, 2022
The governor of Erbil, Omed Khoshnaw, stated that multiple missiles fell in the area, saying it was unclear whether the target was the US consulate or the airport in the city. According to INA, five explosions were heard in the attack. -Jerusalem Post
RUMINT that Fateh-110 ballistic missiles were utilized to hit U.S. targets in Erbil, Iraq. Footage is circulating of missiles reportedly over Iran. pic.twitter.com/PIHX1qukJH— Global: MilitaryInfo (@Global_Mil_Info) March 12, 2022
On Friday we noted that the Iran nuclear talks had been abruptly suspended. As the WSJ wrote at the time; "The Iran nuclear talks broke off Friday with no agreement, imperiling negotiations... After weeks of round-the-clock negotiations in Vienna, the breakoff in talks significantly raises the prospect that efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal may fail."
And then there's this;
4 days ago: https://t.co/bG7C1vbbZe— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 12, 2022
Previous #IRGC attacks against U.S. targets in #Syria & #Iraq have drawn U.S. retaliation -- normally in the form of striking isolated, unmanned #PMU targets.— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) March 12, 2022
That minimalist response has rarely deterred #Iran though -- and tonight seems far more significant.
If early reports are confirmed and Iran indeed attacked the US Consulate, we think it's safe to assume the talks are over. Needless to say, oil is going to have an interesting day on Monday.