Iran attacks Iraqi bases housing US troops in retaliation for Soleimani's death : Iraq Attack American Troops

Iran attacks Iraqi bases housing US troops in retaliation for Soleimani's death


Iran's supreme leader said a "slap in the face" was delivered to the United States, when the Islamic republic fired missiles at US troop bases in Iraq on Wednesday. "Last night, a slap in the face was delivered," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech broadcast live on state television. His remarks came after he had vowed "severe revenge" for a US drone strike that killed one of Iran's top military commanders near Baghdad international airport last week.

Iranian state television said at least 80 "American terrorists" were killed in attacks involving 15 missiles Tehran launched on US targets in Iraq, adding that none of the missiles were intercepted. State TV, citing a senior Revolutionary Guards source, also said Iran had 100 other targets in the region in its sights if Washington took any retaliatory measures. It also said US helicopters and military equipment were 'severely damaged'.

Iran launched missile attacks on US-led forces in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday in retaliation for the US drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East.

Iran fired 'more than a dozen' ballistic missiles Tuesday against two airbases in Iraq where US and coalition forces are based, the Pentagon said, in a further escalation of tensions after the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad last week. “At approximately 5.30pm (2230 GMT) on January 7, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq,” Assistant to the Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.

“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 Al-Assad and Irbil.” There were no immediate reports of casualties at the bases.

The attacks came after pro-Tehran factions in Iraq had vowed to "respond" to a US drone strike that killed Soleimani.

The White House said in a separate statement that President Donald Trump was "monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team."


Local security sources told AFP earlier that at least nine rockets had slammed into the Ain al-Asad airbase, the largest of the Iraqi military compounds where foreign troops are based.

Iran claimed responsibility, with state TV saying the Islamic republic had launched missiles on the base.

A commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards called the missile attacks the "first step". "The missile attacks today were just the first step. (US President Donald) should think about withdrawing its troops from the region and not to leave them within our reach," Iranian state TV quoted the commander as saying.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq's Hashed al-Shaabi military network, was killed in the US drone strike alongside Soleiman, seen as the "godfather" of Tehran's proxy network across the region.

Hoffman said the Pentagon was working on initial battle damage assessments following Tuesday's airbase attacks.

"In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners," he added. "These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region."

Hoffman added that the US would take "all necessary measures to protect and defend US personnel, partners, and allies in the region."

The Federal Aviation Administration is barring US pilots and carriers from flying in areas of Iraqi, Iranian and some Persian Gulf airspace.

The agency is warning of the “potential for miscalculation or mis-identification" for civilian aircraft amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran.

Such restrictions are often precautionary in nature to prevent civilian aircraft from being confused for ones engaged in armed conflict. The FAA says the restrictions are being issued due to “heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations.”

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, said the US "must ensure the safety of our service members, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence."

"America and world cannot afford war," she added.

Her Democratic House colleague Eliot Engel, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN however the attacks "could very well" mean that the US was at war.

"The president and his crew had better figure out a way to… tone down everything because we could be in the middle of a full-fledged war, and I don't think that is something anybody wants

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