Iran is reported to have bombed an American consulate in Northern Iraq, a move that represents a major escalation in hostilities across the Middle East. Although they are still being verified, several videos that claim to show the impact of the bomb have gone viral. According to sources in Iraq, the consulate was only one of eight locations that were targeted.
ABC News reported that an Iraqi source in the security services confirmed several explosions near the U.S. consulate in Erbil, Iraq.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. It said it had used ballistic missiles to target the “headquarters” of spies and “anti-Iranian terrorist gatherings” in certain parts of the area.
Sources said that coalition forces shot down three drones in Iraq near Erbil Airport.
Some videos have been discredited. The following video, for example, has been circulating online claiming that it was from the attack. However, it is a 2022 clip of a CRAM intercept.
The moment ballistic missile pass through U.S C-RAM system and hit American bases in Iraq pic.twitter.com/HoR9NUvzTd
— TRACKER DEEP (@tracker_deep) January 15, 2024
Some videos, such as those showing missiles being fired from Iran, appear genuine.
— Babak Taghvaee – The Crisis Watch (@BabakTaghvaee1) January 15, 2024
This attack is unique in comparison to others because the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps took direct credit for it. Normally, these types of attacks are carried out by Iranian-backed militias and Iran is careful not to be caught on camera. The IRGC doesn’t leave anything to the imagination in this case. They claim they targeted “headquarters for spies”, while also striking “anti-Iranian terror gatherings.”
What will be the Biden administration’s response? This is technically an act of warfare. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the United States must rush into a full-scale conflict. But a response will be warranted. This is an evolving story. Updates will be provided as they are available.