Iran seems not to be joking of ‘crushing revenge’ over US President, Donald Trump’s decision to kill the top general, Qassem Soleiman in a drone strike after it fired tens of ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq.
It could be recalled that the country had promised $80m for anyone who could produce Trump’s head.
It was gathered that Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing American troops on Tuesday
The Ayn al Asad airbase in western Iraq that was visited by the President in December 2018 and the Erbil base in Iraqi Kurdistan both suffered hit from missiles at about 5.30 pm (EST).
According to the Pentagon, the missiles were ‘clearly launched from Iran’ to target U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq.
As at the time of filing this report, there was no information on injuries but security sources say there were Iraqi casualties at the Al Asad airbase.
Trump has received a briefing on the attacks and Defense Secretary Mark Esper alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were spotted arriving at the White House soon after news of the strikes broke.
The action was confirmed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, which controls the country’s missile program. They said they fired the rockets in retaliation for last week’s killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani,
According to state TV, the launch was code-named ‘Martyr Soleimani’ and it took place just hours after the slain general’s funeral.
It also reported that the rockets used in the attack were Fatteh-110 ballistic missiles, which have a range of 186 miles or 300km.
According to reports, the Iranian Air Force has also deployed multiple fighter jets to patrol it airspace, as it warned the U.S. and its allies in the region not to retaliate.
The Pentagon is still working to assess the damage. In a statement, it said it had responded to Iran’s threat in recent days by ensuring that the Department of Defense takes all appropriate measures to safeguard its personnel and partners.
“These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces.
“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 at Al-Assad and Irbil. We are working on initial battle damage assessments.
“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,” part of a statement from the Pentagon read.
President Trump is also expected to address the nation later on Tuesday night.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham also said the President is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team on the possible next line of action.
According to reports, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei was personally in the control center coordinating the attacks.
They have also issued a strong warning to U.S. allies in the Middle East that they would face retaliation if America strikes back against any Iranian targets from their bases.
It could be recalled that the Defense Secretary Mark Esper had earlier on Tuesday said the United States should anticipate retaliation from Iran over the killing in Iraq of Soleimani.
“I think we should expect that they will retaliate in some way, shape or form,’ Esper told a news briefing at the Pentagon/
He added that such retaliation could be through Iran-backed proxy groups outside of Iran or ‘by their hand.’
“We’re prepared for any contingency. And then we will respond appropriately to whatever they do.”
Trump had also talked about the prospect of an Iranian attack.
“We’re totally prepared. They’re going to be suffering the consequences and very strongly,’ he said from the Oval Office during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The moment of the bombardment. pic.twitter.com/lz8tNmobJP
— Barzan Sadiq (@BarzanSadiq) January 8, 2020
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 8, 2020