A missile attack hit an oil refinery in Erbil (Hewler), Kurdistan Region in Iraq (KRI), on Sunday 1 May.
“This evening six Katyusha rockets targeted an area in Khabat district in western Erbil province. The attack resulted in no casualties or material damages. The rockets were originated from Bartella town in Nineveh province,” wrote Lawk Ghafuri, head of Kurdistan Foreign Media Relations, in a tweet.
Masoud Barzani, the leader of the KRI’s ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), spoke with the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in a phone conversation just hours after the attack.
Kadhimi said the armed forces will pursue the perpetrators of what he called a ‘cowardly attack’, the Iraqi prime minister’s office said in a tweet.
Iraqi Security sources stated on Monday that ‘several’ rockets had targeted the Kar Company’s oil refinery, hitting ‘one of the main oil terminals of the refinery’ and causing a fire. They also announced that the fire was later contained, without causing any casualties.
Reuters also reported the Sunday attack, noting that the refinery was owned by Iraqi Kurdish businessman Baz Karim Barzanji, CEO of a major domestic energy company, the KAR Group.
There had been a previous attack on 13 March in the same area with ballistic missiles, which was a rare publicly declared assault by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) where the target was the villa of the same Kurdish businessman Baz Karim Barzanji.
At that time it was also reported that there was a plan to bring, with Israel’s help, gas from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey and Europe, and that was partly what had angered Iran into striking the Kurdish capital Erbil with missiles, and that Barzanji’s company was involved in these plans.
Rudaw reported that the rockets originated from Nineveh province, and were fired from the proximity of the al-Hamdaniya district where Iran-linked militias are rooted.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.