Unparalleled Iranian Attack on Kurds

On September 28, Iran launched its single largest bombardment in decades—using 93 ballistic missiles and drones—against Kurdish targets in neighboring Iraq, killing at least 13, including a U.S. citizen. This escalation comes amid increasingly widespread protests against the Iranian regime following its killing of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish Iranian woman. Iran is falsely blaming—and attacking—Kurdish militants and outside forces, like, Saudi Arabia and Israel, to portray the protests as an ethnic struggle or external manipulation, rather than the grassroots, nation-wide anti-regime movement they have become. Tehran is also flaunting its capability to strike targets beyond its borders with impunity—perhaps in a warning to both protestors and outside actors who would support them. The last time Iranian-backed militia killed an American citizen in Iraq in 2020, President Trump responded with airstrikes against the group responsible. A forceful and direct U.S. retaliation to this recent attack—together with greater support for Iranian protestors—is needed to stop Iran from continuing to kill U.S. citizens brazenly, attack other countries at will, and terrorize its own people.

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Ari Cicurel – Senior Policy Analyst