Iraqi bases housing US troops struck with Iranian ballistic missiles

Jack Murphy
January 07, 2020 - 7:23 pm
Iran said Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, it has launched "tens" of surface-to-surface missiles at Iraq's Ain Assad air base housing U.S. troops over America’s killing of a top Iranian general

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

Bases in the Middle East where American soldiers are stationed have been hit by Iranian ballistic missiles, multiple sources have confirmed to Connecting Vets.  Targets include Erbil, Kurdistan, Al Assad Air Base, Iraq, and another base located in Jordan.

Initial Bomb Damage Assessments (BDA) are being conducted and at this time there has been no announcement about casualties. Other bases, such as in Taji, Iraq have had multiple warnings of incoming missiles but no direct impacts. The one target located in Jordan was Muwaffaq Salti Air Base (MSAB), but that missile failed. 

This comes days after Iranian Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani was killed by an American drone strike in Baghdad. Iranian state TV described the missile attacks as Tehran’s revenge operation over the killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani. 

State TV said the operation’s name was “Marytr Soleimani.” It said the Guard’s aerospace division, which controls Iran’s missile program, launched the attack.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned the U.S. and its regional allies against retaliating over the missile attack against the Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq’s western Anbar province. The Guard issued the warning via a statement carried by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency.

“We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted,” The Guard said. It also threatened Israel.

Chart shows estimated missile ranges for Iranian weapons. Iran has launched a missile strike against two bases in Iraq housing US troops
AP Image

Soleimani's killing and the strikes by Iran came as tensions have been rising steadily across the Mideast after President Donald Trump's decision to unilaterally withdraw America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. They also marked the first time in recent years that Washington and Tehran have attacked each other directly rather than through proxies in the region. It raised the chances of open conflict erupting between the two enemies, which have been at odds since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

Iran initially announced only one strike, but U.S. officials confirmed both. There was no immediate word on injuries. U.S. defense officials were at the White House, likely to discuss options with Trump, who launched the strike on Soleimani while facing an upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.

The Department of Defense has released the following statement:

"At approximately 5:30 p.m. (EST) on January 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.We are working on initial battle damage assessments.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.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."

After the Tuesday night strikes, a former Iranian nuclear negotiator posted a picture of the Islamic Republic's flag on Twitter, appearing to mimic Trump who posted an American flag following the killing of Soleimani and others Friday in a drone strike in Baghdad.

The Associated Press contributed to this report