Iran’s Military Operation in Erbil: A Show of Force Masking Fear and Culminating in Human Tragedy.
Iran’s deployment of its longest-range “Khaibar Shekan” missiles, capable of reaching approximately 1200 kilometers, along with the use of drones, was more a display of strength amid escalating regional tensions, as reported by Arab media outlets. These attacks briefly halted air traffic movement. The Kurdistan Region’s Counter-Terrorism Unit in Iraq thwarted an attempted drone attack on Erbil International Airport, involving three explosive-laden drones.
A spokesperson for the Iranian ministry claimed Iran’s commitment to regional peace and state sovereignty, yet emphasized its right to defend national security and punish perpetrators. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) acknowledged responsibility for the attacks, justifying them as retaliation for previous assaults in Iran and the assassination of resistance leaders in Syria and Lebanon. Mohammad Saleh Sadeghian, director of the Arab Center for Iranian Studies in Tehran, explained in an interview with Al-Hadath Arab channel that the targeted house of a Kurdish Iraqi trader was based on intelligence linking it to the deaths of Mossawi in Syria and Al-Aarouri in Lebanon. The IRGC also claimed its attack targeted Israeli Mossad spy centers in response to Israeli actions and the killing of resistance leaders.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian chargé d’affaires in Baghdad, condemning the Iranian attacks on Kurdistan and announcing legal actions, including a complaint to the UN Security Council. The Kurdistan Regional Security Council strongly denounced Iran’s attack on Erbil, describing it as a violation of the security agreement between Baghdad and Tehran. The Iraqi National Security Advisor refuted Iran’s claims of targeting a Mossad headquarters, asserting the attack was on a businessman’s home. An Iranian man was arrested in Erbil for espionage and handed over to security authorities. The Iranian missile strike on Erbil resulted in 10 casualties, including a one-year-old girl. Yashro Dzei and his family were among those killed.