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Iran’s security forces launched a series of missile strikes at the alleged headquarters for Israeli spies in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, an attack that raised fears of a widening conflict across the Middle East amid Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Guardian reported.

The Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) confirmed Tuesday they attacked what they called the “espionage headquarters” of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, near the regional capital of Erbil.

At least four civilians died and six were injured in the strikes that took place in a neighborhood close to the United States’ consulate and other civilian residences.

IRGC officials said the strikes were part of a counter-terrorism measure in response to an Islamic State (IS) attack that killed more than 80 people in the Iranian city of Kerman earlier this month. They added the strikes were in line with Tehran’s defense of its sovereignty.

IS claimed responsibility for the twin explosions in Kerman that took place during the fourth anniversary of the US assassination of the IRGC commander, Qassem Soleimani. But Tehran accused Israel of being involved in the Kerman attack.

The Israeli government has not commented on this week’s strikes.

Even so, Iraqi and Kurdish authorities criticized the attacks as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and vowed to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council.

The airstrikes took place amid growing fears about the intensification of a conflict that has spread across the Middle East since the commencement of the war between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7, Reuters added.

Iran’s proxy allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have also joined the conflict, further complicating the situation.

Previously, Iran conducted attacks in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, asserting that the area serves as a base for Iranian separatist groups and Israeli agents.

In response to Iranian concerns, Baghdad has taken steps to address the issue of separatist groups in the region, including relocating some as part of a security agreement reached with Tehran in 2023.

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