Last night, Iran launched ballistic missile attacks at United States positions in Iraq. Those attacks resulted in zero Iraqi or American casualties. Initial reports stated there were Iraqi deaths, but overnight reports claimed there were none. The Iranians signaled that this was their retaliatory response. Of their fifteen missiles launched, four failed in flight, ten hit the Al Assad military installation, and one hit Irbil in northern Iraq.
Iranian media, repeated by American news outlet reporters in Iran, said Iran launched a second round of missile attacks, had sent the Iranian Air Force out, and the Americans sustained at least twenty casualties.
This was not actually true, but few Iranians will lear this because state media in Iran is a dominating force. So in Iran and with some Americans on social media, Americans died. But in reality, no Americans died. Iranian media also circulated pictures of the missile launches and explosions, but they were all old pictures, not actual pictures of current events.
Donald Trump took out Iran’s top man and several other Iranian military personnel and the Iranians took out some sand in return. That’s a win for Donald Trump, so far.
The problem, of course, is that the Iranians are not going to make this their only retaliatory response. This response is significant because it is an official response from Iranian soil against American assets. But it did no damage and Iran is going to want to inflict damage. It will, however use surrogates to do so. It must now plan and wait.
Americans abroad and our interests are still in jeopardy and Iran will undoubtedly plot to inflict damage and death. Whether they can or whether or not last night showed them to be functionally incapable of a response is yet to be determined.
Right now, though, this is a win for President Trump as a military engagement.