Iran fires missiles at terror bases in Pak, day after hitting ‘Mossad’s Iraq HQ’

DUBAI/BAGHDAD: An Iranian missile strike on targets in northern Iraq set off an unusual dispute between the neighbouring allies on Tuesday, with Baghdad recalling its ambassador in protest and Tehran insisting the attack was intended to deter threats from Israeli spies.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards hit what they called an Israeli espionage centre in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Iranian media reported late on Monday, while the elite force said they also struck in Syria against the Islamic State.
The strike appeared likely to deepen worries about worsening instability across West Asia since the Gaza war started on Oct. 7, with Iran’s allies also entering the fray from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
There has also been concern that Iraq could again become a theatre for regional conflict after a series of US strikes on Iran-linked militant groups that are also part of Iraq’s formal security forces. Those strikes came in response to dozens of attacks on US forces in the region carried out since Oct. 7.
The Guards said the late Monday attack, Iran’s first direct military strike in the region linked to the Gaza war, was in response to Israeli “atrocities” against several of its commanders and those of Iranian-allied forces around the West Asia since the conflict started.
Iraq national security adviser Qasim al-Araji condemned the strike as an infringement of sovereignty. In protest against the strike, Iraq recalled its envoy from Tehran and summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires in Baghdad, with the foreign ministry saying Baghdad would take all legal steps against what it called a violation of sovereignty. The strike, on a residential area near the US consulate in Kurdistan’s capital Erbil, was described by Iraqi Kurdish PM Masrour Barzani as a “crime against the Kurdish people” in which at least four civilians were killed and six injured. Multimillionaire Kurdish businessman Peshraw Dizayee and several members of his family were among the dead, killed when at least one rocket crashed into their home, Iraqi security sources said. Araji denied the house was a Mossad headquarters.
Defending the attack, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Tehran respected the sovereignty of other countries but it was Iran’s “legitimate right to deter national security threats”.
The Guards also fired ballistic missiles in Syria and destroyed “perpetrators of terrorist operations” in Iran, including the IS. The IS took blame for two blasts in Iran this month that killed nearly 100 people at a memorial for the late commander Qassim Suleimani.
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