Iran launched missile strikes aimed at US troops in Iraq in early hours Wednesday January 8, 2020 (5:30 PM ET Tuesday January 7, 2020) in what it said was retaliation for the killing last week of top Iranian general Qassem Suleimani.
At least 30 ballistic missiles were launched into northern Iraq.
Al-Asad air base in Iraq’s Anbar province, which hosts a US contingent, was hit at least six times, according to US military confirmed. Al-Asad is a Sunni stronghold. Another base, Ali Air Base, in Erbil, Iraq was also reported attacked. Ali Air Base is smaller air base, sometimes nearly vacated, and does not have as many US personnel.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), of which Suleimani was a member, issued a statement saying, “The brave soldiers of IRGC’s aerospace unit have launched a successful attack with tens of ballistic missiles on Al Assad military base in the name of martyr General Qassem Suleimani.”
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said: “We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq. The president has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived at the White House immediately following the attacks on US forces in Iraq.
CNN reporter wrong here, no presidential address tonight …
Aides are making urgent preparations at this hour for Trump to address the nation, per @jeffzeleny. The specific timing TBD & could be delayed given we are still learning info but two officials say a speech is being prepared and plans are being made for Oval address.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 8, 2020
Iranian news sites showed night time video images of missiles being launched.
Unconfirmed reports said missile attacks occurred in other parts of Iraq.
The Al Asad base has previously been a target of an Iranian-backed Shia militia, Kata’ib Hezbollah, whose attacks on the United State military and coalition troops triggered strikes, including an Iranian strike that killed a US contractor, that culminated in the drone strike last week that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
Al Asad Airbase is a combined Iraqi Armed Forces and United States armed forces base located in Al Anbar Governorate, also known as Anbar province, of western Iraq. The base is also used by British armed forces in Iraq.
B-52 bombers were recently flown to the Middle East in preparation for a possible conflict with Iran. Prior to the drone attack of General Qassem Suleimani, the 34th Fighter Squadron of F-35 fighter jets deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab of Emirates in October 2019. Al Dhafra Air Base is about 800 miles south of Tehran, Iran.
On December 26 2018, President Donald Trump and his First Lady Melania Trump visited the soldiers stationed at Al-Asad air base. On November 23, 2019, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, visited the troops ahead of Thanksgiving.
— Reuters U.S. News (@ReutersUS) January 8, 2020
"More than a dozen" ballistic missiles have been fired from Iran at two U.S. military bases in Iraq, the Pentagon says. Follow our ongoing coverage. https://t.co/sY24kZufXn
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 8, 2020
^^ MOBILE? USE VOICE MIC ^^
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