No U.S. troops harmed: Trump

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.

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

“No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well,” said President Trump. “I salute the incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform.”

Trump added that since 1979, nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and beyond. 

” Those days are over,” he said. “Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism, and their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world.  We will never let that happen.”

Trump reiterated that last week, the U.S. took decisive action to “stop a ruthless terrorist” from threatening American lives. 

“At my direction, the United States military eliminated the world’s top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani.  As the head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities.”

Trump said Soleiman trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets.  He also fueled bloody civil wars all across the region.  And he wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims.

“Soleimani directed the recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq that badly wounded four service members and killed one American, and he orchestrated the violent assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad,” said President Trump. “In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him.

“Soleimani’s hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood,” said Trump. “He should have been terminated long ago.  By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists: If you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our people.”

Trump said as the U.S. continues to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the U.S. will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. 

“These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior,” said Trump.

In recent months alone, Iran has seized ships in international waters, fired an unprovoked strike on Saudi Arabia, and shot down two U.S. drones.

Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion, and $1.8 billion in cash. 

“Instead of saying “thank you” to the United States, they chanted “death to America,'” said Trump.

“In fact, they chanted “death to America” the day the agreement was signed.

“Then, Iran went on a terror spree, funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq.  The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.  The regime also greatly tightened the reins on their own country, even recently killing 1,500 people at the many protests that are taking place all throughout Iran.

The defective JCPOA expires shortly anyway and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout. 

“Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism.  The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality.

Trump said they must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal -– or JCPOA –- and everyone must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. 

“We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper, and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential.  Iran can be a great country.”

Trump added that peace and stability cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence, unrest, hatred, and war. 

“The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer.  It will not be allowed to go forward.”

Trump said he is going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process. 

“We are now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world.  We are independent, and we do not need Middle East oil.”

Trump also had a message for the people and leaders of Iran.

“We want you to have a future and a great future — one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world.  The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”

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. 

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.

Canadian troops safe

There are Canadian soldiers stationed Iraq but Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance tweeted that all Canadian military personnel in Iraq are safe.

General Vance posted a letter to Canadian Forces families on Tuesday saying the Canadian military is temporarily relocating some soldiers from Iraq to Kuwait.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement late Tuesday night on the missile attacks.

“We are deeply concerned with the missile attacks launched by Iran,” he said.

“The safety of the women and men who serve is our top priority, and we are taking all necessary precautions for the security of our civilian, military and diplomatic personnel.”

Trudeau said the Canadian government are strongly urging for de-escalation across the region.

“We are in constant contact with our international partners and are briefing members of the Opposition parties.”

UK reaction

Speaking in the British House of Commons, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Qasem Soleimani had the “blood of British troops on his hands.”

Johnson said the U.S. had the “right to protect” its bases and personnel.

“Qasem Soleimani was responsible for many years – amongst other things – of arming the Houthis with missiles, with which they attacked innocent civilians; arming Hezbollah with missiles, which again they used to attack innocent civilians; sustaining the Assad regime in Syria – one of the most brutal and barbaric regimes in the world; and, of course, supplying improvised explosive devices to terrorists who, I’m afraid, killed and maimed British troops.

“That man had the blood of British troops on his hands,” he added.

Iraq’s reaction

Mohammed al-Halbousi, the speaker of Iraqi Parliament, released a statement Wednesday saying the Iranian strikes against U.S. troops on bases in Iraq is a “violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”

Updated Jan. 8, 11:06 a.m.

Photo of President Donald J. Trump screenshot of White House live video

-reporter@albertapressleader.ca

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

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READ MORE: Resistance in Iran welcomes Soleimani’s death

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