Multiple news sources are reporting that Iran has launched surface-to-surface missiles at two US bases in Iraq. Quoting a Pentagon official, Fox News reported that Iran fired “more than a dozen ballistic missiles” at the Coalition bases.
CNN reports that there were Iraqi casualties at Ain al-Asad airbase but there seem to have been no American casualties. Al-Asad airbase is located in the western Anbar province while Irbil airbase, the second base attacked, is located in the northern Kurdish areas of Iraq.
The Associated Press reported that Iranian state television said that “tens” of missiles were launched in the attacks. Press TV, an Iranian news network, tweeted video of the missile launches, which reportedly came from several different facilities inside Iran.
In a statement, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps said, “To the Great Satan… we warn that if you repeat your wickedness or take any additional movements or make additional aggression, we will respond with more painful and crushing responses.”
Those of us who remember the 1979 hostage crisis will recall that “Great Satan” is a traditional Iranian term for the United States.
The IRGC statement also threatened other allies who host US military bases., saying, “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.”
Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement, “At approximately 5:30 p.m. (EST) on January 7, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. 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 at Al-Assad and Irbil. We are working on initial battle damage assessments.”
“In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners,” the statement said. “These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.”
There has not been any announcement of a US retaliation for the attack, but we can expect air attacks that target Iran’s missile facilities within days. Given the technical advantages of the American military in night operations, it is a good possibility that the US will strike back before dawn.