Pentagon confirms Iran launched a 'revenge operation' of 'more than dozen ballistic missiles' at US troops in Iraq
Iran state TV announced that the regime has launched missiles at U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq, the Associated Press reported Tuesday night. The Pentagon later confirmed the attack.
The report described the attack as explicit retaliation after President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Qassim Suleidmani, a top military leader in Iran. Many experts had warned that, despite the Trump administration's claims that it was "deescalating" with Iran, the regime would inevitably seek revenge.
And according to the AP: "State TV described it early Wednesday as Tehran’s revenge operation over the killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani."
A U.S. Defense Department spokesman confirmed that Iran launched "more than dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq." They targeted "at least two Iraqi military bases" at Al-Assad and Irbil.
The Pentagon was still evaluating the damage when the statement was released. It said it "will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region."
Trump threatened disproportionate retaliation against Iran if it sought revenge for Suleimani's killing. He even said he would attack sites of cultural importance to Iran, which is a war crime, but he backed down after even his own Defense secretary said that would be illegal.
The Iranian Revolution Guard Corps put out the following statement:
The brave soldiers of IRGC's aerospace unit have launched a successful attack with tens of ballistic missiles on Al Assad military base in the name of martyr Gen.Qasem Soleimani.
"Iran is violating Iraqi sovereignty by launching air strikes tonight," said Martin Huth, the European Union ambassador to Iraq. After Iraq complained about breach of its sovereignty on 3 January by US. Iraq does not deserve to be victim of proxy war!"
"There are casualties among the Iraqis at Ain al-Asad airbase following the attack early Wednesday local time, an Iraqi security source tells CNN," CNN correspondent Dianne Gallagher said. "At this stage it is unknown whether those causalities are wounded or killed; also unknown are the numbers of casualties."
At least one Iranian official tweeted out an image of the Iranian flag, apparently echoing Trump's tweet of an American flag after news broke of Suleimani's killing:
https://t.co/Nske7KLJVy— Saeed Jalili (@Saeed Jalili) 1578441189.0