Iran has fired greater than a dozen ballistic missiles at two navy bases in Iraq that home US troops, in retaliation for the airstrike that killed a high Iranian basic days earlier.
Iran’s Supreme Chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mentioned the strikes have been a “slap in the face” to the US. The assault got here after the stays of Gen. Qassem Soleimani have been returned to his hometown for burial.
The Pentagon confirmed the assault, saying missiles have been aimed toward US and coalition forces at two navy bases within the area: Al Asad west of Baghdad and Erbil in northern Iraq.
There have been no speedy confirmed reviews of accidents or deaths as officers continued to evaluate the harm, however President Donald Trump tweeted, “All is well!”
Trump mentioned he would make an announcement Wednesday morning. Trump and the primary woman visited the Al Asad base in an unannounced go to in 2018.
Iranian state media, carrying an announcement by the nation’s Revolutionary Guard, mentioned dozens of US troopers had died within the missile assaults, whereas Iraq’s safety communications workplace mentioned no Iraqis had been killed.
The workplace of Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi mentioned Iraq was knowledgeable by Iran that it could strike US navy targets in Iraq, with out specifying the place. On the identical time, the US contacted Iraq to say it was being hit on the two bases. In a collection of tweets, the Prime Minister’s workplace known as on each side to de-escalate tensions, and respect Iraq’s sovereignty.
Iran mentioned the missile strikes have been in retaliation for the drone strike ordered by Trump that killed Soleimani, the top of the elite Quds Power and who oversaw Iran’s Center East navy operations, in Baghdad final week.
In a televised handle, Khamenei warned of additional motion if the US retaliated.
“What matters is that the presence of America, that is a source of corruption in this region, that should come to an end,” he mentioned.
Iran’s overseas minister, Javad Zarif had earlier tweeted that his nation “took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched.”
“We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression,” Zarif mentioned.
Iranian officers mentioned the missile launches started at 1:20 a.m., across the identical time Soleimani was killed close to the airport in Baghdad.
The Related Press reported the operation was named “Martyr Soleimani” by Iran’s authorities.
The White Home mentioned President Trump was monitoring the state of affairs.
“We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq,” White Home spokesperson Stephanie Grisham mentioned in an announcement. “The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”
The assault is the newest escalation of aggressive acts between the 2 international locations and got here simply hours after Protection Secretary Mark T. Esper mentioned the US was “not in search of a battle with Iran.”
“However we’re ready to complete one,” Esper mentioned throughout a information convention Tuesday. “We are seeking a diplomatic solution. But first this will require Iran to de-escalate. It will require the regime to come to the table with the goal of preventing further bloodshed.”
After the assault on the airbase, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned the US and regional allies to not retaliate, the AP reported.
“We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted,” the Guard mentioned.
Esper mentioned commanders on the bottom had been informed to “prepare for any contingencies,” and that the navy had “increased our force protection postures across the region.”
Pentagon officers mentioned personnel had already been on excessive alert resulting from elevated tensions within the area and Iran’s warning of retaliation.
“As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region,” Hoffman mentioned.
UK International Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the Iranian assault, saying, “We urge Iran not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation.”
On Sunday, the US-led coalition preventing ISIS introduced it had put its battle in opposition to the phobia group on maintain as tensions mounted and the potential of an assault from Iran elevated.
The killing of Soleimani on Iraqi soil additionally prompted the Iraqi parliament to approve a decision to take away the presence of US troops in Iraq.
US officers downplayed the outrage from Iraqi officers, the place hundreds of US troops stay, and claimed the US continued to have help from allies and companions within the area.
Shortly after the assault, Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Mark Miller have been reportedly seen arriving on the White Home.
Vice President Mike Pence, at Trump’s path, had additionally been calling congressional leaders in regards to the assault.
Hours after Iran launched missiles into Iraq, a Ukrainian Boeing 737 crashed after takeoff in Tehran, killing all 176 individuals on board, however there may be presently no suggestion the incidents are in any manner linked.