France and Germany have condemned Sunday’s Iranian ballistic missile attack on Erbil, northern Iraq, for undermining efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal.
Paris reiterated the "absolute urgency" of concluding Vienna negotiations and said that Tehran should halt "irresponsible and dangerous behavior" that “threatened stability in Iraq and the wider region.” A statement from a German foreign office spokesperson extended condolences to residents of Erbil.
“As a close partner of Iraq and of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, we continue to support joint efforts to strengthen Iraq’s sovereignty, its unity and stability and in the fight against Daesh (ISIS)”, Berlin’s statement read.
Germany has up to 500 troops in Iraq, concentrated in the Kurdish region, with the German parliament recently extending their mission until at least October. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced at the end of 2021 the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq had begun.
Iran said Sunday the missiles targeted an Israeli facility in Erbil in response to an Israeli airstrike in Damascus that killed two Iranian soldiers March 7. Sunday’s missiles fell close to a United States consulate building, damaging a villa that presumably was used by Israelis and a Kurdish TV station. One civilian was injured.
Israel’s presence in northern Iraq goes back many decades, while some Iraqi political groups are divided over normalization of relations with Israel.