Erbil, Iraq’s northern capital, was hit by at least 12 ballistic missiles on Sunday, according to local and U.S. authorities, in an event that is being blamed on Iran and, the neighboring country, is expected to heighten regional tensions. The incident occurred near the United States Consulate building.

Key Facts from the Incident

  • Neither a group nor a government has claimed responsibility, but a US official said that the missiles were fired from Iran.
  • Iraqi authorities claim the missile struck the U.S. embassy but U.S. officials say there wasn’t any damage to any government property and no evidence that the U.S consulate was the planned target, says AP.
  • Later, the director of the regional foreign media office observed that although no missiles reached the U.S. facility itself, the compound’s immediate surroundings had been damaged.
  • It was an outrageous infringement on Iraqi sovereignty, a State Department official said.
  • According to the Associated Press, the strike was reported by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, which cited Iraqi media sources, but no mention was made of its origin.


Rocket and drone strikes previously attributed on Iranian-backed militia groups have not taken place in recent months for U.S. personnel stationed in Erbil, Iraq. Using ballistic missiles in Sunday’s strike would represent an even greater step forward from the last time this happened, which happened over two years ago. Qassem Soleimani was assassinated by the US military in January 2020, and as a result, Iran launched ballistic missiles towards US airbases in Anbar and Erbil Anbar Provinces. Two members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps were killed in an Israeli air raid on Damascus earlier in the week, prompting Sunday’s attack.