U.S. says Iran must cease attacks, respect Iraq’s sovereignty

A sign stands outside the U.S. State Department September 12, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The United States said on Sunday Iran must “immediately” halt its attacks and respect Iraq’s sovereignty, hours after missiles struck Erbil city.

“The United States strongly condemns the missile strikes on Erbil, Iraq last night that emanated from Iran,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

“The strikes were an outrageous violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.”

Earlier on Sunday, twelve ballistic missiles launched by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards struck Erbil city. Authorities in the Region said the attack hit civilian places in the city, wounding a person slightly.

“Any repetition of attacks by Israel will be met with a harsh, decisive and destructive response,” the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement reported by state media, according to Reuters.

An Israeli air strike in Syria on Monday killed two members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Iranian state media said last week. The IRGC vowed to retaliate, it said.

The U.S. state department further said it had no indication that the attack was directed at the United States.

“Iran must immediately cease its attacks, respect Iraqi sovereignty, and halt its interference in Iraq’s internal affairs,” it added.

“The United States stands with our Iraqi partners, including in the Kurdistan Region, and will help our partners in the region defend themselves.”

Earlier, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Council of Ministers called on the international community including the Iranian government to investigate the missile attack and visit the location targeted by the missiles.

“The cowardly attack on Erbil … allegedly under the pretext of hitting an Israeli base near the US Consulate in Erbil, targeted civilian locations and its justification is only to hide the disgracefulness of such offense,” presidency of the KRG Council of Ministers said in a statement.

“We reiterate that the propaganda of the perpetrators of this attack is far from true.

“Iran has repeated these attacks many times, and the silence of the international community in the face of these cowardly attacks will pave the way for their continuation,” it added.

“We call on the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, the Arab League, the federal government, the Iraqi parliament, and the Iranian government to urgently investigate these baseless attacks, visit targeted locations, reveal the facts to the public, and take a true and strong stance on these attacks.”

Iraq and neighboring Syria are regularly the scene of violence between the United States and Iran. Iran-backed Shia militias have attacked U.S. forces in both countries and Washington has on occasion retaliated with air strikes.

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