“No Israeli Mossad base,” Iraqi national security advisor rejects IRGC allegations

“We reject the allegation that [the place] was an Israeli Mossad base," Al-Araji said.
Iraqi National Security Advisor Qassem Al-Araji speaking to Kurdistan24 in Erbil on Iranian ballistic missile attacks, Jan. 16, 2024. (Photo: Kurdistan24)
Iraqi National Security Advisor Qassem Al-Araji speaking to Kurdistan24 in Erbil on Iranian ballistic missile attacks, Jan. 16, 2024. (Photo: Kurdistan24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – The Iraqi National Security Advisor Qassem Al-Araji on Tuesday rejected the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claims that its barrage of ballistic missiles had targeted an Israeli spy base in Erbil, where at least four civilians were killed during a family gathering.

The remarks by the security official came following a visit he paid to the impacted site, which was a private residence of renowned Kurdish businessman Peshraw Dizayee who was killed along with four members of his family and acquaintances as the result of the three ballistic missiles that IRGC fired towards the residence on Monday night.

“We reject the allegation that [the place] was an Israeli Mossad base. We visited the place and toured around every corner. Everything indicated it was a family residence belonging to an Iraqi businessman from Erbil,” Al-Araji told Kurdistan24 following his hospital visit to closely follow up on the condition of the wounded victims.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia’ Al-Sudani has tasked Al-Araji to launch an investigation committee into the deadly attacks. Kurdistan Region Minister of Interior Reber Ahmed accompanied the committee at the impact site.

Speaking at Davos in Switzerland, the Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani strongly condemned the attacks, urging the international community to not remain silent on the repeated attacks.

Barzani said the private residence belonged to Dizayee, who was not involved in any form of politics or military.

Regarding the motivation behind the attacks, Barzani said, "What is surprising we are not part of this conflict. We do now know why Iran is retaliating against civilians of Kurdistan, especially in Erbil."

"We have no animosity towards any of our neighbors, especially Iran," the premier said, adding all the allegations that have been made are "baseless".

The IRGC similarly targeted another residence of a Kurdish businessman in 2022, resulting in significant material damage to the mansion.

Additional reporting by Kurdistan24 Erbil reporter Hero Mawloodee