An Iraqi oil refinery was targeted in a missile attack (representative image). (Photo credit: Reuters)
Iraqi security forces announced on 1 May that several missiles had struck an area near an oil refinery in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.
The attack hit one of the main tanks, causing a fire which was later extinguished. No casualties were reported.
Authorities of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) stated that the missiles were launched from the Nineveh province in a mostly Christian area near Mosul. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi promised to uncover and find those responsible for the “cowardly attack” on the Erbil oil refinery, during a phone call with Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani.
KRG sources told Reuters that the refinery is owned by Iraqi Kurdish businessman Baz Karim Barzanji, the CEO of major domestic energy company the KAR Group.
On 13 March, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched a ballistic missile attack on a Mossad base in Erbil.
The Mossad were operating out of a villa owned by Barzanji which was retrofitted and reconstructed with special materials to withstand bombs and missiles, as evidenced by photos which showed some parts of the house with less damage than the total obliteration expected for a house with normal construction.
“This operation sends a message to all countries in the region that Iran is sensitive to the Israeli regime’s activities near its borders and does not tolerate it,” said a senior Iranian security source, speaking exclusively to The Cradle.
Three Mossad agents were killed, two of whom were senior officers, and approximately seven were wounded following the aftermath of the retaliatory strike launched from Iran.
The source described the Mossad base in Erbil as “unofficial and hidden – in the form of two villas that had a normal appearance.” Iranian reconnaissance had observed several unusual aspects in the lead up to the operation.
According to the source, “the structure of these two villas comprised two roofs that completely protected it from 240mm missiles. An explosion-proof engineering roof under a shock-absorbing roof that had two layers under the gable roof.”
The source said that post-operation images confirm this assessment. Despite being hit by 12 missiles, the building maintained its structural integrity.
Iraqi lawmakers are planning to introduce a law that would make relations with Israel a criminal offense, according to an announcement by the Sadrist bloc on 24 April.