Iran launches multiple missiles into Iraq targeting American bases

Update Jan. 8, 11:30 a.m.

No U.S. troops were harmed in the Iranian attack in Iraq, said President Donald J. Trump from the White House today.

He addressed the U.S. people from the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington about the Iranian missile attack on two bases in Iraq.

“I’m pleased to inform you, the American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime.  We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.”

President Trump also said it appears that Iran is standing down. 

“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.

Photo of President Donald J. Trump screenshot of White House live video Jan. 8, 2020

Update Jan. 7, 8:27 p.m. U.S. President Donald Trump sent out a tweet saying “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif said that Iran did not “seek escalation of war” and added they will defend themselves.

—– Original story ——

Multiple missiles were launched into Iraq from Iran targeting American bases.

Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman said that at about 5:30 p.m. (EST) on Jan. 7, 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 at Al-Assad and Irbil,” he said. 

“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. These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.”

Middle East correspondent Babak Taghvaee in a tweet has retracted his claim that 80 US soldiers were killed.

“According to #Pentagon, all claims of #IRGC regarding to killing 80 #US Servicemen there is untrue. They have destroyed only helicopters”

Middle East correspondent Babak Taghvaee earlier tweeted that “sources claim they have destroyed several #USArmy helicopters & drones & have killed 80 #US troops there!”

Any U.S. casualties haven’t been confirmed by the Pentagon.

“We are working on initial battle damage assessments,” said Hoffman.

“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. Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we will continue to provide updates as they become available.”

Iran’s state-run news outlet ISNA reported:

“This morning, courageous fighters of the IRGC’s Air Force launched a successful operation called Operation Martyr Soleimani, with the code ‘Oh Zahra’ by firing tens of ground-to-ground missiles at the base of the terrorist and invasive US forces.”

On twitter correspondent Babak Taghvaee tweeted video of what he says was the launch of 6 Fateh-110 ballistic missiles.

The facilities include Erbil in northern Iraq and Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq.

The attack comes just days after a U.S. drone strike killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. Qassem Soliemani, commander of the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force was killed at about 1 a.m. local time in Baghdad, Iraq on Friday, Jan. 3. U.S. forces carried out a drone airstrike that targeted two vehicles. Soliemani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, deputy chief of Iraq’s Tehran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF) were killed along with 10 companions and bodyguards.

Today, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, in a briefing at the Pentagon, said the U.S. was ready to retaliate for any attack Iran launches.

More to come. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Updated Jan. 7, 5:05 p.m., 5:32 p.m., 7:16 p.m.

Alberta Press staff

-reporter@albertapressleader.ca

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