Iran is believed to have deliberately missed targeting US forces during retaliatory missile strikes on bases housing American troops in Iraq to prevent escalation of the situation in the region.
Iran was believed to have tried to hit certain parts of the bases to minimize casualties and especially to avoid US fatalities, a report in Reuters said.
The Tuesday attacks against Ain al-Asad airbase and another installation hosting US and coalition forces in Iraq is said not to be meant for military casualties but signalling Iranian resolve in response to the US killing of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) head Gen Qassem Soleimani.
Hours after the strikes, Iran state television on Wednesday had claimed that at least 80 “American terrorists” were killed in the retaliatory attack.
However, US President Donald Trump tweeted “all is well” while asserting that America has “the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world”.
Later, in his first statement after Iran missile strikes, Trump said that “no American or Iraqi lives were lost” in the attack.
“We suffered no casualties. All our soldiers are safe, only minimal damages were sustained at our military bases,” the US President said in his address.
The president further said that Iran appeared to be “standing down” after the missile strikes on US troop bases which he termed a “good thing for all parties concerned”.
Stating that Iran should abandon its nuclear ambition, Trump asserted that as long as he is the President of the United States, Tehran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani had earlier said the Islamic republic’s response on Wednesday to a US strike that killed General Soleimani shows “we don’t retreat in the face of America”.
“If America has committed a crime… it should know that it will receive a decisive response,” Rouhani said in a televised address.
“If they are wise, they won’t take any other action at this juncture.”
Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations arm, the Quds Force, was killed last week in a US drone strike near Baghdad international airport.