28 September 2022

The IRGC confirmed that it had fired 73 ballistic missiles and dozens of UAVs targeting sites belonging to what it called “anti-Iranian terrorist groups” in northern Iraq. CENTCOM reported downing an Iranian drone “headed in the direction of Erbil as it appeared as a threat to CENTCOM forces in the area”. The Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s president denounced the operation, which led to dozens of casualties, and affirmed, “The Kurdistan Region… will not allow any security threat to the neighbouring countries from its borders… [and it] should not be used as a battleground to settle disputes among rival parties”. Iraq’ foreign ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador on 29 September and delivered a “strong note of protests”, warning of operation’s “repercussions on the societal peace of both countries, and on regional security and stability”. The U.S. State Department criticised the attack as “an unjustified violation of Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity”, and further condemned “comments from the government of Iran threatening additional attacks against Iraq”, while National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said “Iran cannot deflect blame from its internal problems and the legitimate grievances of its population with attacks across its borders… the U.S. will continue to pursue sanctions and other means to disrupt Iran’s destabilising activities across the Middle East region”. The following day, the U.S. confirmed the death of one of its citizens during the attack.  

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