Washington strongly condemns Iranian missile, drone attacks on Kurdistan Region
WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) The US State Department, in Washington, issued a tough statement on Monday condemning Iran’s missile and drone attacks earlier that day, which targeted Iranian opposition groups in the Kurdistan Region and which killed at least two people and wounded another eight.
The statement from Washington follows a similar statement tweeted by the US embassy in Baghdad. But as State Department headquarters is superior in scope and authority to the embassy, its statements carry more weight and significance.
Indeed, a formal State Department statement reinforcing an embassy tweet underscores the seriousness with which the US views the issue.
“We strongly condemn Iran’s continued missile and drone attacks against the Iraqi Kurdistan Region,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a written statement early on Monday evening.
“We call on Iran, which has repeatedly and brazenly violated Iraq’s sovereignty, to stop these attacks,” Price continued, as he affirmed, “The United States stands with our partners in Baghdad and Erbil and shares the Government of Iraq’s objective to preserve the country’s security, stability, and sovereignty.”
Earlier Warnings of an Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia or Erbil
Saudi intelligence earlier warned of an “imminent” Iranian attack on that country or on Erbil, as The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 1.
At that time, Tehran was accusing the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel of supporting the country-wide protests that have followed the Sept. 16 death of the young Kurdish woman, Jinna (Mahsa) Amini, while under arrest by Tehran’s morality police, the Journal said.
While “Iranian officials have blamed Iran’s foes for inciting the unrest, such unsupported claims are a familiar tactic for the regime, which has blamed Iran’s adversaries during previous domestic protests,” it added.
A spokesperson for the US National Security Council told the Journal, “We will not hesitate to act in the defense of our interests and partners in the region.”
Subsequently, on Nov 10, US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that two B-52 bombers had flown from the US to the region in “a show-of-force message to Iran,” Politico reported the next day, noting that “American and Saudi officials continued to monitor an imminent threat to Saudi Arabia.”
“This Bomber Task Force mission demonstrates our commitment to regional security and the collective capabilities of our military partners in the region,” Gen. Michael Kurilla, head of CENTCOM, said in a statement announcing the bombers’ flight.
CENTCOM “also announced that Kurilla held ‘meaningful discussions’ with leaders from ‘all partnered militaries in the Middle East,’ including the chiefs of defense from Bahrain, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and others,” Politico said.
Yet Politico failed to mention one significant meeting: Kurilla also had a “meaningful discussion” with the Chief of Staff of the Iraqi army, Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah, as CENTCOM tweeted.
But given the threat to Erbil—as reported by Saudi intelligence well in advance of Monday’s attack—perhaps it would have been a good idea, if Kurilla had also met with the Peshmerga Chief of Staff?