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Soleimani killing: Iran fires multiple missiles at Iraqi bases housing US forces

Two days after Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad, the U.S. troops in Iraq to fight the Islamic State are now focused on their own defense, guarding American bases and the U.S. Embassy from an expected Iranian response.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: January 08, 2020 7:35 IST
Iran attacks USA
Image Source : AP

Members of the military wait outside facilities where President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are visiting at Al Assad Air Base, Iraq.

Iran on Wednesday launched multiple rockets at USA's Al Asad airbase. The attack comes days after top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was assassinated by US-led forces. A series of surface-to-surface missiles were fired at two Iraqi bases housing US troops and warning the United States and its allies in the region not to retaliate. The airstrikes were confirmed by the US officials, however, Iran only initially acknowledged targeting one base. There were no reports of any injuries or casualties in the attack. 

The Iraq base attacks come as a revenge for the killing of Revolutionary Guard General Qasem Soleimani, Iranian state TV said. Soleimani's funeral was held on Tuesday at his hometown of Kerman, which prompted angry calls to avenge his death amid the rising tensions in the Middle East. 

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned the US and its regional allies against retaliating over the missile attack against the Ain Assad airbase 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.

Ain Assad airbase is in Iraq’s western Anbar province. It was first used by American forces after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, and later saw American troops stationed there amid the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. It houses about 1,500 U.S. and coalition forces.

State TV said the operation’s name was “Martyr Soleimani.” It said the Guard’s aerospace division that controls Iran’s missile program launched the attack. Iran said it would release more information later.

The U.S. also acknowledged another missile attack on a base in Irbil in Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region.

A spokesperson for the Norwegian Armed Forces told AP in a phone interview that about 70 Norwegian troops were on the airbase, but no injuries have been reported, Brynjar Stordal, a spokesperson for the Norwegian Armed Forces told AP in a phone interview.”

Wednesday’s revenge attack came a mere few hours after crowds in Iran mourned Soleimani and as the U.S. continued to reinforce its own positions in the region and warned of an unspecified threat to shipping from Iran in the region’s waterways, crucial routes for global energy supplies. U.S. embassies and consulates from Asia to Africa and Europe issued security alerts for Americans.

The U.S. Air Force launched a drill with 52 fighter jets in Utah, just days after President Donald Trump threatened to hit 52 sites in Iran.

Also Read | Iran declares US armed forces and Pentagon as terrorist organisations

Also Read | Graphics show how 65,000 American troops have Iran surrounded on all sides​

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