The Pentagon confirmed Tuesday night that Iran fired "more than a dozen" missiles at two U.S. military bases in Iraq as a retaliatory move following the killing of the commander of Iran's Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in an airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump last week. U.S. officials were assessing the damage and it is unclear if there have been any casualties.
"It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said Tuesday, according to NBC News. "As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region."
Occurring at 1:20 a.m. local time Wednesday (5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday), the attacks targeted the Al Asad and Erbil military bases. Located around 100 miles northwest of Baghdad, the Al Asad base houses about 1,500 U.S. and coalition forces and had already been on high alert, recently pausing its operations against ISIS to shift resources to prepare for a possible revenge attack by Iran, according to CBS News.
The Erbil base is located in Iraq's Kurdish region.
According to a U.S. military spokesman for Central Command, responsible for American forces in the Middle East, ten missiles hit the Ain al-Asad Air Base, one missile hit a military base in Erbil and four missiles failed to hit their targets, Fox News reports.
Although Iranian state television reportedly claimed that "at least 80 terrorist U.S. soldiers" were killed in the strikes, initial assessments showed "no U.S. casualties."
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that strikes were a "slap in the face" to the U.S. and not sufficient retaliation for the killing of Solemani last week. Meanwhile, the Foreign Minister of Iran, Javad Zarif, wrote in a tweet that the nation nation does not "seek escalation or war," though they "will defend ourselves against any aggression."
Responding to the attacks on Twitter, Trump assured the nation that "all is well."0comments
"All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq," he tweeted. "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."
The president is expected to address the nation sometime Wednesday morning after having been briefed Tuesday night.