The US State Department confirmed Thursday that one US citizen was killed in Iranian cross-border strikes earlier Wednesday on Iraqi Kurdistan that has seen 13 people reported dead, including civilians, after Iran’s IRGC targeted Kurdish separatist groups.
State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said that the US citizen was killed as a result of a rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, refusing to make any further comment on the case due to privacy considerations.
Also on Wednesday, CENTCOM said that it had downed an Iranian drone en route to Erbil, posing a threat to American forces, but said at the time that no US officials or military personnel had been killed in the strike, so it is not known if the American citizen’s death is connected to the downed drone.
In addition, Patel reiterated US denunciations of the strikes as Iran’s violations of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and separately announced fresh enforcement of sanctions on Tehran’s oil sales as Washington warned of further actions to enforce its economic curbs on Tehran.
The US on Thursday imposed sanctions on Iranian brokers and front companies suspected of involvement in Iran’s petrochemical and petroleum trade, including in China, Hong Kong, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
As part of the attempts to thwart sanctions evasion on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products, the US Treasury Department slapped sanctions on a network of companies involved in the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petrochemical and petroleum products to South and East Asia users.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned in a statement anyone involved in such sales and transactions should stop immediately if they wish to avoid being subjected to US sanctions, noting that these enforcement actions will continue on a regular basis.