U.S. officials do not believe consulate was target of Iran missile attack

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March 13 (UPI) — Officials in the United States said they did not believe the U.S. consulate in the autonomous Kurdistan Region in Iraq was the target of an Iranian missile strike on Sunday morning.

“We do not believe the consulate was the target of this attack … this was an attack on Iraq’s sovereignty,” Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told Fox News Sunday.

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Multiple missiles were fired toward the U.S. consulate and a news station in Erbil.

Kurdistan’s counterterrorism force said 12 ballistic missiles had been fired rather than the rockets commonly used by Iranian-backed militia groups, officials told The New York Times.

A U.S. State Department representative told Fox News that there was no damage nor casualties “at any U.S. government facility.”

“The incident is being investigated by the government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government … We condemn this outrageous attack and display of violence,” the representative said.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps took responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on Iranian state media, saying it targeted “the strategic center of the Zionist conspiracies in Erbil,” referencing the U.S. presence in Iraq with Israel.

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Iran previously vowed revenge against Israel for an airstrike in Syria that killed four people, including two members of the Revolutionary Guards, four days prior.

The governor of Erbil denied the presence of any Israeli bases in the semiautonomous Kurdistan Region but U.S. and Israeli intelligence do cooperate.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi condenmned the missile strike as “an attack on the security of our people” and Marsour Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdistan Region, said Erbil “will not bow to the cowards who carried out the terrorist attack.”

Sunday’s attack also came as talks in Vienna aimed at a revived nuclear deal with Iran were paused indefinitely on Friday as Russia demanded that sanctions related to its invasion of Ukraine do not prohibit trade between Moscow and Tehran.