Iran targets US troops with ballistic missiles

By January 08 2020, 13:38 Latest News No Comments

aa1This morning, Iran fired 15 ballistic missiles at Iraqi military bases housing US personnel in retaliation for the targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani.

A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that while four missiles failed to reach their targets, ten struck the Ain Al Assad airbase near Baghdad and one hit a US base in Erbil northern Iraq. The attack on the two bases took place at 01:20 local time, reportedly the exact time of the American missile strike that killed Soleimani in Iraq on Friday.

US and Iraqi officials have said there are no immediate reports of casualties, but buildings are still being searched. The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that no UK personnel were affected.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the attack and urged Iran “not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation” and highlighted a war in the Middle East would “only benefit Daesh and other terrorist groups”.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif said that Iran took “proportionate measures” in response to Friday’s attack, but does not “seek escalation or war”. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps issued a statement warning the US not to respond to the attack.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said the attack was “a slap in the face” for the US and called for an end to the US presence in the region. Echoing him, President Hassan Rouhani said the US would have its “feet cut off” in the Middle East.

Yesterday in a Government statement on the situation in Iran, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that coalition bases in Iraq containing UK and US personnel had been attacked 14 times, on one occasion with 42 rockets, since October 2019.

He also assured the House that the Government had taken “urgent measures” to protect British nationals and the interests in the Gulf, including the transfer of all non-essential personal out of Baghdad to a safer part of Iraq.

More than 5,000 US troops and 400 British soldiers remain in Iraq, along with other foreign forces, in a coalition that has trained and backed Iraqi forces against the threat of IS militants.

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