Iran fires missiles at U.S. troop bases in Iraq | Daily News


 

Iran fires missiles at U.S. troop bases in Iraq

This still image from an Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting video shot on January 8, 2020, allegedly shows rockets launched from Iran againts the US military base in Ein-al Asad in Iraq. - AFP
This still image from an Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting video shot on January 8, 2020, allegedly shows rockets launched from Iran againts the US military base in Ein-al Asad in Iraq. - AFP

IRAQ: Iran fired missiles Wednesday at Iraqi bases housing the US military, officials in Washington and Tehran said, in the first act of the Islamic republic’s promised revenge for the US killing of a top Iranian general.

The Pentagon said it was still “working on initial battle damage assessments” after “Iran launched at least 22 ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq.” “It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US military and coalition personnel” at Ain al-Asad and Arbil, the Pentagon said.

There were no immediate reports on casualties. The Pentagon said the facilities had been on “high alert” after days of steadily mounting tension and exchanges of threats of war.

Trump, who visited al-Asad with First Lady Melania Trump in December 2018, his first trip to US troops deployed in a war zone, said initial casualty assessments indicated “all is well.” He tweeted that “assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good!” Iranian state television reported an attack on one base housing US personnel, saying it was in response to Friday’s killing in a US drone strike of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, one of the most important figures in the country’s government.

Also killed was a top Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was with Soleimani just outside Baghdad international airport when the US drone overhead opened fire.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards announced that the Ain al-Asad base was hit with dozens of missiles, warning a US counter-attack would be met with an even “more crushing response” and threatening to strike Israel and America’s “allied governments.” “We advise the American people to recall US troops (deployed in the) region in order to avoid further losses and not to allow the lives of its soldiers to be further threatened by the ever-growing hatred of the regime,” the IGRC said in a statement.

But Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif seemed to indicate that the missile strikes were over for now.

“Iran took and concluded proportionate measures in self-defence” targeting a base from which a “cowardly armed attack against our citizens and senior officials” was launched, he said on Twitter. Trump did not go on evening television to address the nation -- something of an informal Presidential tradition in times of foreign policy crises. But he said to expect a statement early Wednesday. Oil prices immediately jumped on the news, with the benchmark WTI spiking more than 4.5 percent to $65.54 a barrel before receding slightly.

In the US, the aviation regulator banned civil flights over Iraq, Iran and the Gulf, citing the potential for “misidentification” of aircraft.

- AFP


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