Hours after Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases used by US forces in Iraq, President Donald Trump tweeted “all is well” while asserting that America has “the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world”.
“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, (sic)” 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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Wednesday that it had carried out missile strikes on bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation to the killing of General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi top commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Iran swiftly claimed responsibility for the attack, with state TV saying it had launched “tens of missiles” on the base and promised “more crushing responses” if the US carried out further strikes.
The Pentagon said Iran had fired more than a dozen missiles against Ain al-Asad and another installation hosting US and coalition forces near Arbil.
It further said that it would take all necessary measures to protect and defend US personnel, partners, and allies in the region.
The White House had earlier said that it was monitoring the attacks, adding that President Donald Trump was also following the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.
The strikes came hours after Trump’s latest warning to Iran earlier on Tuesday.
“If Iran does anything that they shouldn’t be doing, they’re going to be suffering the consequences, and very strongly,” Trump told reporters in the White House.
Trump’s remark came after the IRGC Commander Hossein Salami warned the US also on Tuesday that Tehran would take “severe revenge” over the death of Soleimani, who was the chief of the elite Quds Force.
Tensions between the US and Iran escalated as General Qasem Soleimani was killed along with seven others after Trump ordered an airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the Baghdad International Airport road.
The White House in a statement said that at the direction of the President, the US military took a “decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad” by killing Qasem Soleimani.
It added that General Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region”.
Iran parliament had on Tuesday passed a bill, designating all US forces as “terrorists” over the killing of the top military commander.
The triple-urgency motion is a modification of a previously ratified bill on April 23, 2019, that designated the US Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist organization in retaliation to the same designation imposed on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by Washington.