Iran media claims 80 US soldiers killed in missile attacks: At least 80 US soldiers have been killed in missile attacks on two Iraqi military bases in retaliation against the killing of top general Qassem Suleimani, Iranian state media claimed. It said that the pre-dawn strikes also destroyed US military equipment including helicopters in twin bases housing US forces.
This is the first action taken by Tehran after the assassination of Suleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, last week near Baghdad’s international airport. Iran has called the US soldiers, reportedly killed in missile attacks, as American terrorists.
The state media, citing the IRGC source, said that Tehran would target as many as 100 US targets in the Middle East if Washington tried to launch retaliatory attacks. Iran has also threatened to bomb Dubai and Haifa.
More than a dozen rockets were fired at two military bases — the Ain al-Asad facility in Iraq’s Anbar province and Erbil base in Iraq’s semi-autonomous region Kurdistan, days after Suleimani’s killing in the US airstrike. He was killed alongside Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Multiple U.S. bases under attack in #Iraq. US official confirms missile launched from Iran. #US Military bases confirmed hit by Iranian short-range ballistic missiles at this time. #Iran is calling this Operation Martyr Suleimani…
— Terrence Daniels (Captain Planet) (@Terrence_STR) January 8, 2020
Iran has posted footage of a missile attack. Rockets often miss their targets. Missiles will hit a particular window in a particular house. Bad news. https://t.co/TgUmtWRTag
— Karen Piper (@PiperK) January 7, 2020
Hours after the Wednesday’s missile strikes, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asserted that the US must end its presence in the region. In a televised speech, Khamenei said that the retaliatory missile action was not sufficient. He had earlier vowed to avenge Suleimani’s killing.
The US has confirmed that the Iranian missiles hit its facilities, however, refuted any casualty as claimed by Tehran. US President Donald Trump, who had given directions to kill Suleimani, has also reacted to the strikes. He claimed all is every. The Republican president said that he would make a statement tomorrow, US local time.
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
Earlier, millions of Iranians participated in the multi-city last rites of Suleimani, described by Iran as the most prominent anti-terror commander in the Middle East. As many as 56 people were killed in a stampede erupted due to the massive crowds in Kerman, slain commander’s hometown.