U.S. strikes Houthi launch sites, Iran targets ‘Mossad bases’ in missile attack in northern Iraq

The U.S. military attacked a Houthi launch site for anti-ship ballistic missiles one day after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps struck what it claimed are “Mossad Bases” in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil.

“U.S. Forces struck and destroyed four Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles prepared to launch from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen,” on Tuesday morning, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reported. Hours later, the Houthis successfully launched an anti-ship ballistic missile at a merchant vessel in the Red Sea – but the missile did not hit the target.

The Houthis continue to target shipping despite the United States and the United Kingdom’s raid last week that hit Houthi radar and air defense sites, as well as anti-ship missile and drone launch and storage sites. The Iranian-backed militia has vowed to continue attacks on commercial vessels until Israel ends its fight against Hamas in Gaza.

As the Houthis defy the international coalition that is struggling to keep the Red Sea open to commercial shipping, the Iranians launched a ballistic missile strike on what it claimed were Israeli intelligence assets in Irbil, Iraq. On Monday, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the praetorian guard of the clerical regime, took credit for a ballistic missile attack on what it said were Israeli “spy headquarters,” according to Rudow.

“In response to the recent terrorist crimes of the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the spy headquarters and gatherings of anti-Iran groups in parts of the Region were targeted by IRGC ballistic missiles in the middle of the night,” the Tasnim News Agency, a mouthpiece for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, reported.

The ballistic missiles struck the home of a Kurdish businessman and impacted near the U.S. consulate and a U.S. military base. Peshraw Dizayee, the Kurdish businessman, and four members of his family were killed, according to Rudow. The IRGC claimed that “three Mossad bases” were hit. However, Kurdish officials deny the presence of Israel’s intelligence services.

Iran continues to flex its influence inside Iraq. Its proxy militias, the Popular Mobilization Forces, which are also part of Iraq’s security forces, have launched more than 130 attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and neighboring Syria. The U.S. military has retaliated with eight strikes, including six in Iraq, in an effort to restore deterrence, but the militias have not ceased their attacks.

Joe Truzman is a research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian militant groups and Hezbollah. Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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