Iran’s bombing of Erbil!

The 'Irangate' scandal, a haunting memory from the Iran-Iraq war, lingers as Iranians, known for their love of tent theater, continue to stage new plays daily

11 mins read

Iranians, like every Middle Eastern country, love tent theater. They love to stage a new play every day. Taqiyya is the icing on the cake. The so-called “Irangate” scandal between Tehran and Washington during the Iran-Iraq war is still fresh in the memory.

Empty bombs dropped in memory of Qasem Soleimani!

In his election speech in Texas on November 2, 2023, former US President Donald Trump announced that during his presidency he had allied with Iran on the issue of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, who was killed in a US airstrike in 2020.

Iran's bombing of Erbil!

Claiming that Iranian officials contacted him after the US assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander Qassem Soleimani in January 2020, Trump claimed that Tehran gave him advance notice of an attack on a US base.

Trump said, “They called us and said, ‘Listen, we have no choice. We have to hit you because we have self-respect’. I understood that. We had hit them and they had to do something,” he said, noting that Iranian officials had assured him that the American base would not be hit in the missile attack, and that of the 18 missiles launched from Iran, 5 exploded in the air and the others fell around the base, and that normally these missiles are very precise and accurate weapons.

What happened?

On January 3, 2020, US forces targeted the convoy of Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani, killing 10 people, including Soleimani. The incident caused great outrage in Iran.

On January 8, the Iranian military fired at least 22 missiles at the US airbase at Ain al-Assad in Iraq’s Anbar province and at American military positions in Erbil.

In those attacks, the Iranians announced to the world that they had bombed the Ayn al-Assad military base in Iraq’s Anbar province, one of the largest and oldest military bases currently used by the United States, and the Erbil base in the region administered by the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), a strong ally of the United States.

As the saying goes, “they made garlic a bride and after forty days the smell came out” or “the liar’s candle burns until the end of time”.

Why am I saying this? Because one inevitably thinks: “Was there a tacit agreement between the Iranian velayat faqih regime and the US, whose imperialism is not in doubt, on the assassination of Qasem Soleimani?”

Why did Iran launch air strikes in Northern Iraq?

Iran did not attack Iraq and then Pakistan out of the blue. The reason is very simple. Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, must have seen this operation as a way out to salvage their charisma in the eyes of their own people and in the Shiite hinterland due to their passive stance in the Israel-Hamas war.

Iran's bombing of Erbil!

“One of the Mossad espionage headquarters was destroyed by ballistic missiles,” the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement about the attack in Erbil. It said it was organized “in response to the oppression of the Zionist regime”.

As the repercussions of Iran’s airstrikes against Northern Iraq outside the border continue, the second target was Pakistani territory. The border areas were hit by ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. The attack targeted the Jaish al Adl organization based in Pakistan.

The organization, founded by Sunni Baluch, has been carrying out attacks inside Iran from time to time?

Is a new Iran-Iraq war brewing?

The Baghdad administration is caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, the Turkish Armed Forces are bombing terrorist camps in Northern Iraq, and on the other, Iran is firing rockets at Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish Regional Government in Northern Iraq. Regarding the attack on Erbil, the Revolutionary Guards claim that one of the Mossad espionage headquarters was destroyed by ballistic missiles and that it was organized “in response to the Zionist regime’s persecution”.

As a result, both the Turks and the Iranians have a stranglehold on northern Iraq, which is tied to Baghdad by a thread. However, even though Ankara and Tehran’s independent operations against northern Iraq have different causes and consequences, Iraq has not set a road map to solve this problem.

Iran's bombing of Erbil!

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shiya al-Sudani’s characterization of the Iranian attack on Erbil as “hostile” was apparently intended to placate the northern Iraqi administration.

Sudani’s words: “This action is definitely a dangerous development that undermines the strong relationship between Iraq and Iran” are thought-provoking. I wonder who wants to undermine the strong relationship between the two countries and why?

Is the bombing of northern Iraq a message to the Americanist Erbil administration?

Two days before the Iranian attack, KRG President Nechirvan Barzani visited Baghdad. But he returned to Erbil without any guarantee from Iraq’s ruling (Shiite) Coordination Framework forces that the pro-Iranian groups would stop their attacks on Erbil. Iranian Shiites in Baghdad fired missiles at Nechirvan Barzani’s gift after his return to Erbil.

Rather, Nechirvan Barzani was in one ear and out the other when politicians in Baghdad ‘amicably’ warned that the Kurdish parties’ desire for the US-led International Coalition to remain on KRG territory would violate the fragile ceasefire between Erbil and Baghdad.

Iran's bombing of Erbil!

Earlier, Masrour Barzani had met with General Joel Vowell, Commander-in-Chief of the International Coalition Forces in Syria and Iraq, and Barzani and Vowell had agreed that the presence of foreign forces in the fight against DAESH and the development of local military forces was important for Iraqis. After this meeting, when Nechirvan Barzani was informed that Baghdad and Erbil were rapidly heading towards a crossroads, he went to Baghdad, but he could not save Erbil from the missiles.

Russian media, on the other hand, preferred to cover the Iranian airstrikes from the perspective of “Iran’s continued strengthening of its power in the Middle East”.

The Russians interpreted the explosion of several rockets near the American consulate in the Iraqi city of Erbil as Washington’s response to attacks on the Yemeni Houthis, close allies of Iran.

US bases in northern Iraq fail to protect Kurds?

In Erbil, Iraq, three days of mourning have been declared following the ballistic missile attacks by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The administration in Erbil is very anxious. The Iranians not only declare the Iraqi Kurds to be vassals and patrons of Israel, but they also declare that the headquarters of the Israeli foreign intelligence organization Mossad is located in Erbil.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards announced that ISIS targets in Syria were also targeted with ballistic missiles. Coincidentally, Turkey is also destroying PKK/YPG camps, the legionaries of the US, with howitzer artillery and missiles launched from airplanes.

Iran's bombing of Erbil!
The map has been obtained from TRT.

On the surface, Turkey is fighting against the terrorist organization PKK/YPG. However, the whole world knows that this war waged by the Turkish Armed Forces on behalf of the Turkish Nation and the Turkish State is against the imperialist USA, the overt supporter of the PKK/YPG.

The United States, one of the main players in the escalation of tensions in the Middle East, has allegedly evacuated all personnel from its military base near Qamishli, 700 kilometers from Damascus, due to repeated attacks in Syria. Because the Turkish army has turned a blind eye. It does not forgive whoever and whichever power comes against it.

The wolf survives the winter, but he does not forget the bear!…
So far, the conflict between the US and Iran has been business as usual for both sides: They are doing everything possible to avoid a direct confrontation and periodic “saber-rattling” with the help of regional proxy forces or through targeted destruction.

No one knows how long the unspoken status quo in US relations with Tehran will last; it is a low-intensity conflict that has not reached the level of outright war. But it is important to keep in mind that in the process of escalation by both Tehran and Washington, all options are possible.

This shows that America is gradually turning Iraq into a testing ground for war against Iran.

Selected Bibliography







Condemnation of Iran’s Attacks in Erbil






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