alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

'This is a nightmare': Fears of all-out war spike as Iran targets US troops

"This is exactly the moment we feared," said Stephen Miles, executive director of Win Without War. (Photo: Screengrab/Twitter)

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran claimed responsibility for a missile attack on a U.S. airbase in Iraq Wednesday morning local time, confirming warnings that President Donald Trump's decision to assassinate Gen. Qasem Soleimani would spark military retaliation and possibly erupt into a full-blown regional conflict.

"This is exactly the moment we feared," said Stephen Miles, executive director of Win Without War. "Donald Trump's war with Iran has escalated to the next level. Iran should immediately stop these attacks, but make no mistake, the war beginning to unfold is because Donald Trump chose war over diplomacy."

In a statement following the attack on the al-Asad airbase, which was reportedly hit by more than a dozen missiles, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said "the brave soldiers of IRGC's aerospace unit have launched a successful attack with tens of ballistic missiles on al-Asad military base in the name of martyr Gen. Qasem Soleimani."

"We warn all allied countries of the U.S. that if attacks are launched from bases in their countries on Iran, they will be a target of military retaliation," the IRGC said. "We call on Americans to recall all their soldiers back home to prevent more damage."

Trump, who has threatened to strike Iran if it attacks U.S. forces or "assets," has been briefed on the situation and is monitoring it with his national security team, according to the White House.

Progressive voices in the U.S. and around the world made clear that the retaliation by Iran does nothing to absolve Trump of his ultimate responsibility for touching off the escalation of violence by ordering the assassination of Soleimani.

"Trump promised that the assassination of Soleimani would deter Iran," tweeted Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. "Instead—as many predicted—it has led to Iran striking back. Missiles were shot from Iran hitting U.S. bases in Iraq. This is a nightmare."

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) said in a statement that "Donald Trump owns this 100%."

"At every step of the way, he has been warned he risked moving back on the path to war. Now that day may be here," said NIAC. "Our thoughts are with all the people who will be harmed by this senseless and needless conflict. It is ordinary Iranians, Iraqis, and people across the region who will bear a profound cost that can't be justified. So too will American soldiers, and their families here at home."

According to ABC News, "multiple U.S. military facilities inside Iraq" were struck by missiles early Wednesday morning.

"The facilities include Erbil in northern Iraq and al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq," ABC reported, citing a U.S. official.

In a statement, the Pentagon said Iran "launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. 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 U.S. military and coalition personnel."

It is not yet clear if there were any casualties.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.