Iran threatens to attack inside America if US responds to missile attacks
In its Telegram channel, Iranian Revolutionary Guard says the “Pentagon reports that the US will respond to Iran’s attacks.”
IRGC then says in a footnote, “This time we will respond to you in America”
The Pentagon confirmed that Iran launched missiles at US military and coalition forces in Iraq.
Iran launched more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi bases that hold US troops in what appears to be retaliation for the American airstrike that killed a top Iranian general last week, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
A US official told CNN that there were no initial reports of any US casualties, but an assessment is underway. There are casualties among the Iraqis at Ain al-Asad airbase following the attack, an Iraqi security source tells CNN. The number of casualties and whether the individuals were killed or wounded was not immediately clear.
White House aides are making plans for a possible address to the nation by President Donald Trump, according to two officials.
The attack comes days after the US killed top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The administration has sought to cast that strike as an attempt to de-escalate tensions with Iran, but Tehran has vowed revenge for the killing, which it says was an “act of war” and “state terrorism.”
In a statement, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC, said the attacks were “hard revenge” for the death of Soleimani. The IRGC said in the statement that any country housing US troops could be subject to “hostile and aggressive acts” and called on American citizens to demand the government remove US troops from the region.
The Pentagon claimed Iran fired more than a dozen missiles.
The Pentagon said: “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,” Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to the Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs, said in a statement.
An Iraqi security source told CNN that “13 rockets hit Ain al-Assad air base in al-Anbar.” Iran has also claimed that it targeted al-Asad air base with “tens of ballistic missiles.”
The Pentagon spokesperson said:”We are working on initial battle damage assessments,”
The bases, he said, have been on high alert “due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.”
“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,” the Pentagon said.
“To the Great Satan (a reference to the US) … 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,” the statement read.
Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesperson, said Tuesday evening that Iran launched more than a dozen missiles at the al-Asad airbase, which houses US troops, and American and coalition forces in the town of Erbil. Hoffman said the Pentagon is assessing the damage done by the attacks.
“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,” Hoffman said in a statement. “These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.”
“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.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley arrived at the White House following the attack.
Qatri al-Obeidi, a commander in the nearby town of al-Baghdadi, said that the shelling has stopped for now. Trump visited the base in December 2018 to visit troops after Christmas. Vice President Mike Pence also visited the base in November 2019. The attack follows last week’s deadly US drone strike that Trump ordered to kill Soleimani.
Iranian state TV reported that the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, “has hit U.S. Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq with tens of missiles.” The IRGC warned the US of of more “crushing responses in case of new aggression,” according to state TV. The IRGC said it will target any regional state that becomes a platform for US aggression, a second banner on state TV read.
Esper’s office called the office of the Prime Minister of Iraq at around 7 pm ET on Tuesday, according to a diplomatic source. There were difficulties getting through as it was the middle of the night in Baghdad. Eventually the two offices were able to connect and the source says there has been “communication between the US and Iraqi governments at the highest level.”
Top Iranian official tweets image of Iranian flag following attack
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, who is also a politician and representative of the Supreme Leader, tweeted an image of the Iranian flag following reports of attacks on al-Asad air base.
— Saeed Jalili (@DrSaeedJalili) 7 January 2020