Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have launched precision missile strikes targeting alleged "terrorist" strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
The official IRNA news agency reported that the IRGC successfully destroyed a "spy headquarters" and disbanded a "gathering of anti-Iranian terrorist groups" in Arbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.
According to the IRGC's Sepah News service, ballistic missiles were deployed in Syria to target "gathering places of commanders and main elements" linked to recent terrorist operations, specifically mentioning the Islamic State group.
The retaliation, as reported, is in response to recent terrorist crimes that led to the unjust martyrdom of Iranian citizens in Kerman and Rask.
The United States condemned Iran's actions, labeling the missile attacks as "reckless" and warning that they undermine stability in Iraq.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller stated, "The United States strongly condemns Iran's attacks in Erbil today and offers condolences to the families of those who were killed. We oppose Iran's reckless missile strikes, which undermine Iraq's stability."
The backdrop to these retaliatory strikes includes a January 3 suicide bombing near the tomb of the revered IRGC general Qasem Soleimani in Kerman. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, resulting in the death of around 90 people. Iran's intelligence ministry identified one of the suicide bombers as a Tajik citizen, while the identity of the other remains undetermined.
In December, an attack on a police station in Rask, Sistan-Baluchistan, resulted in the death of at least 11 Iranian police officers. Jaish al-Adl, blacklisted by Iran as a "terrorist" group, claimed responsibility for the attack on its Telegram channel.
Moreover, the IRGC claimed to have struck an alleged Israeli target, destroying Mossad's spy headquarters in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
The IRGC asserted that this headquarters played a central role in developing espionage operations and planning terrorist actions in the region.
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