Washington, Jan 8 (PTI) Iran has launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases where US military and coalition forces’ are stationed in Iraq, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
According to Iranian state TV, the attacks were in revenge for the killing of the commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards, General Qasem Soleimani, in a US drone strike on Friday, which was ordered by President Donald Trump.
Shortly after the missile attacks, Trump tweeted, “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.”
Officials said President Trump has been briefed and he is monitoring the situation.
“We are working on initial battle damage assessments,” Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said.
Hoffman said around 5:30 pm on January 7, “Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US.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 US military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil, he said.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the President has been briefed about the situation.
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, Grisham said.
Hoffman said in recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defence has taken 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 and interests in the region, he said.
“As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend US personnel, partners, and allies in the region, Hoffman said.
Meanwhile, President Trump spoke with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and thanked him for his country’s strong partnership with the US. The two leaders discussed the situation in Iraq and Iran, as well as other critical bilateral and regional issues, officials said.
State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo telephoned Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and updated him on the Iranian missile attacks on Iraqi air bases, including in Erbil.
The two leaders agreed to stay in close touch as the situation develops.