Iran Claims Attacks On Western ‘Espionage Centers’ In Iraq

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed a successful attack on “espionage centers” in Iraq on Monday night, official media said, Reuters reported.

The IRGC claimed to have destroyed “espionage centers and gatherings of anti-Iranian terrorist groups” in Erbil, Iraq, Reuters reported, citing the statement carried in the semi-official Tasnim News Agency. Iraqi security sources reported explosions heard northeast of Erbil near where the U.S. consulate is located as well as civilian houses, according to Reuters, although its unclear if the consulate was targeted.

A U.S. official said no American facilities were impacted, Reuters reported. “Ballistic missiles were used to destroy espionage centers and gatherings of anti-Iranian terrorist groups in the region late tonight,” the IRGC statement read, according to a Reuters translation. (RELATED: US Has ‘Indisputable’ Intel ISIS Carried Out Iran Bombings: REPORT)

Iran has sometimes attacked the region before, claiming it serves as a host for Israeli intelligence activity targeted against Tehran, Reuters reported. Erbil airport ceased air traffic following the strikes, the three Iraqi security sources told the outlet.

Footage circulated around social media showing active air defenses around Erbil Airbase in Iraq, where U.S. and coalition troops are based. The Daily Caller News Foundation was not immediately able to confirm the footage. Two dead and five wounded were brought to the hospital, according to Reuters.

No U.S. facilities were hit and no damage or injuries were reported, a U.S. official told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Bases hosting U.S. troops in Iraq have come under attack dozens of times by local Iran-backed militias since Oct. 7 in retaliation for U.S. support for Israel.

Tehran blamed both the U.S. and Israel for the Jan. 3 terrorist attacks in Kerman, Iran, at a commemoration for the former IRGC commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, killing more than 73, Iran International reported.

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