Kurdish PM accuses Iran of attacking civilians, dismisses Israeli ‘spy HQ’ claims

DAVOS, Switzerland — Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday accused Iran of killing innocent civilians in its missile strikes on Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claimed they targeted an Israeli spy center in the region, but Barzani dismissed these allegations as baseless during his remarks at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

“We are not a part of this conflict. It’s unclear why Iran is targeting Kurdistan’s civilians, especially in Erbil,” Barzani said.

At least four civilians were killed and six injured in the strikes, according to the Kurdistan government’s security council.

Iraq’s foreign ministry condemned Iran’s “aggression” and recalled its ambassador from Tehran for discussions.

Addressing recent calls to remove the U.S.-led international military coalition from Iraq, Barzani emphasized the continuing need for U.S. presence. “The U.S. is in Iraq at the Iraqi government’s invitation to combat terrorism. Last night’s events show that regional instability is still a significant concern,” he stated.

Currently, the U.S. maintains 900 troops in Syria and 2,500 in Iraq. Their mission, according to U.S. statements, is to advise and assist local forces in preventing a resurgence of the Islamic State, which seized large parts of both countries in 2014 before being defeated.