(Photo credit: @AuroraIntel)
An explosive-laden drone detonated in the city of Erbil in northern Iraq on 8 June, injuring three people and damaging a number of vehicles in the area, according to a statement by the Kurdistan counter-terrorism directorate.
“An explosive laden drone hit Erbil-Pirmam Road at 9:35pm, slightly injuring three people. It also damaged a restaurant and a number of vehicles,” the statement said.
The explosion took place around five kilometers away from the new US consulate compound, which is currently under construction. Initial reports claimed that a missile had landed in the area.
Anonymous security sources said the drone was targeting the US consulate and was shot down, but gave no further details. As of yet, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
However, a statement by the the Security Council of the Kurdistan Region claims that the Kataeb Hezbollah resistance movement, linked to the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), was behind the attack.
“The terrorist attack that targeted Erbil last night is a continuation of the attacks launched with the aim of putting pressure on the Kurdistan Region, and that the drone that was used in the attack was launched from Bardi (Alton Bridge) towards Erbil by the Hezbollah militia,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq said via Twitter: “Bomb-laden drone hit Erbil-Pirmam Road, causing civilian injuries and damage … Iraq does not need self-proclaimed armed arbiters. Asserting state authority is essential. If the perpetrators are known, call them out and hold them to account.”
طائرة مسيرة مفخخة ضربت طريق أربيل – بيرمام وأدت إلى وقوع إصابات وأضرار في صفوف المدنيين. عملٌ طائش آخر. كما قلنا سابقاً، العراق ليس بحاجة الى حكام مسلحين ينصبون أنفسهم زعماءً. وتأكيد سلطة الدولة أمر أساسي. إذا كان الجناة معروفين، ينبغي تشخيصهم ومحاسبتهم.
— UNAMI (@UNIraq) June 8, 2022
According to unconfirmed reports by Iraqi media correspondents, a member of an Israeli assassination squad by the name of Ellak Rod was killed by the blast.
مواقع عراقية تتحدث عن مقتل المدعو (إيلاك رون) مسؤول فرقة الاغتيالات الصهيونية خلال الهجوم الذي وقع في #اربيل شمالي #العراق.
— خالد اسكيف (@khalediskef) June 8, 2022
During an exclusive interview with The Cradle, the official spokesman of the Erbil office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party, Azad Jolla, confirmed that the Israeli spy agency Mossad has long been active in the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR).
“There is – among others – an Israeli Mossad presence. And this presence provokes Iran into attacking their sites in the Kurdistan region. Iran has done this before, and will probably do it again,” Jolla said on 17 March.
The comments of the Kurdish official came in the wake of a precision missile strike by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on 13 March on a secret Mossad compound in Erbil, which left three Israeli officials dead and seven others severely wounded.
“This operation sends a message to all countries in the region that Iran is sensitive to the activities of the Israeli regime near its borders and does not tolerate it,” a senior Iranian security source said at the time.