Iran launches missiles at US airbase in Iraq in retaliation for killing of commander

Wednesday, 2020-01-08 14:02:19
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This image from an Iran video shows missiles launched from Iran. (Photo: Getty Images)
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Iran said Wednesday (January 8) it has launched missile attack on the US military base of al-Asad in Iraq's Anbar province following the US drone strike that killed Iranian commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

"Tens of surface-to-surface missiles" were fired at the strategic airbase," said Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in a statement carried by Iranian state TV.

The IRGC attack comes after Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC, was killed in a US airstrike near Baghdad International Airport on January 3.

In the statement, the IRGC called for a complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, saying that it would not differentiate between the US and Israel in retaliating the assassination of the Iranian national "hero."

"We in no way consider the Zionist regime (of Israel) to be separated from the criminal US regime in these crimes," read the IRGC statement.

"We warn US allies providing bases for the (American) terrorist army ... that any country serving as the origin of bellicose and aggressive attacks in any form against the Islamic Republic of Iran will be targeted," it said.

The IRGC warned the United States that "any new wicked act or more moves and aggressions (against Iran) will bring about more painful and crushing responses."

The IRGC further urged the American people to call for the return of US forces from the region in order to prevent further losses and not to allow Washington put the lives of American troops at risk any more.

The Pentagon has confirmed Iran's launch of more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq.

"At approximately 5:30 p.m. (EST) on January 7, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq," the Pentagon said in a statement.

These missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US military and coalition personnel at al-Asad and Irbil, the statement added.

The bases have been on high alert due to indications that Iran planned to attack the US forces and interests in the region, it noted.

The Pentagon also pointed out that it would take all necessary measures to protect and defend US personnel, partners, and allies in the region.

Xinhua