Iran launches more than a dozen missiles overnight at the Al-Asad airbase in Iraq hosting both American and coalition troops

According to The Guardian, Iran launched more than a dozen missiles overnight at the Al-Asad airbase in Iraq hosting both American and coalition troops. The airbase, which is located in Iraq’s Anbar province about 37 miles west of Baghdad, was struck 17 times, including by two undetonated ballistic missiles. Another base in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil was also targeted by five missiles around 1:30 am local time. According to the Iraqi prime minister’s office, Iraq was notified early Wednesday morning that “its response to the killing of its top military commander had begun,” and that Iranian retaliation would occur only in locations where the US was present. Although Iranian officials notified state media that its strikes had killed or injured over 80 US personnel, Iraq, the UK, Australia, Canada, and the US have all claimed that no personnel has been harmed. ~

These strikes by Iran come amid escalating tensions between Iran and the United States, and in retaliation to the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last Friday by the US military. Soleimani – who was the head of Iran’s elite Quds military force, a terrorist under American law as of 2011, and one of the most powerful figures in Iran and the Islamic Republic – was reportedly actively plotting actions that “would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk” in imminent fashion, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Soleimani’s killing came as an American response to a series of events, including the death of a US civilian contractor by a Hezbollah-launched rocket, as well as a Hezollah and PMF attack on the American embassy in Iraq early last week. ~

President Trump, speaking from the White House Wednesday morning, stated that Iran “appears to be standing down” and confirmed that no Americans were harmed in the Iranian attacks. According to Fortune, President Trump indicated “that he would not retaliate militarily for the strikes” and instead would immediately implement economic sanctions “until Iran changes its behavior.” He furthermore reiterated that “Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” and called for new nuclear negotiations to take place. ~ 

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