Iran strikes back at US with missile attack at bases in Iraq
Iran strikes back at the United States for killing a top Revolutionary Guard commander, calling it revenge for the U.S. killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani. U.S. officials say Iran fired a series of ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops. There were no immediate reports of U.S. casualties. It's a major escalation between the two longtime foes, and there are worries the two nations are now close to war. But there are some indications that there would not be further retaliation on either side, at least in the short term.
President Trump Tweeted about the incident:
Turkey’s foreign minister will visit Iraq as part of diplomatic efforts to “alleviate the escalated tension" in the region, a ministry statement said.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also spoke with his Iranian counterpart Wednesday after Iran fired more than 20 missiles overnight at bases in Iraq used by U.S. troops in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iran's top military commander last week in Baghdad.
Turkey has called for calm and expressed concern about regional security after the U.S. drone strike. Turkey shares a border with Iran and Iraq and is engaged militarily in northern Iraq against Kurdish militants.
Slovenia’s defense ministry says its six soldiers stationed in northern Iraq with a German-led training mission will be evacuated after their base came under Iran’s missile attack in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iran's top general.
The Slovenian ministry said Wednesday the soldiers were unhurt in the attack near Irbil as they were in the base's shelter during the strike.
The ministry said the evacuation will be conducted “in cooperation with the German partners.” It did not say where the soldiers will go.
The Syrian government is expressing full solidarity with Iran, saying Tehran has the right to defend itself "in the face of American threats and attacks."
The foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday that Syria holds the “American regime responsible for all the repercussions due to its reckless policy and arrogant mentality.”
The statement came after Iran fired more than 20 missiles overnight at bases in Iraq used by U.S. troops in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iran's top military commander last week in Baghdad.
Syria is Iran's strongest ally in the Arab world, and Tehran sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters to join President Bashar Assad's forces in the country's civil war.
One analyst says Iran's missile strike against U.S. forces in Iraq was “the smallest attack that Iran could carry out while at the same time being able to say they got revenge."
Peter Viggo Jakobsen, an associate professor with the Royal Danish Defense College, added Wednesday that Iran has "done all that is possible to avoid American casualties. If what we hear is correct, they have warned the Americans in advance."
He told Denmark’s TV2 channel the Iranians are doing all they can to avoid an American military response as harsh as President Donald Trump has promised.
"I would be deeply surprised if the Americans choose to respond militarily again,” he said.