IRAQ (WTNH/ABC NEWS) — More than a dozen ballistic missiles were fired at multiple U.S. military facilities inside Iraq from Iran on Wednesday in retaliation of a recent U.S. airstrike killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
After the U.S. attack, Iranian leaders vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death.
Reporters in the Middle East received the following statement: “The body of General Soleimani is being buried now. After taking revenge of his blood, now his body is being buried.”
The Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps took credit for the attack, and one Iranian politician tweeted his nation’s flag — an apparent swipe at President Donald Trump who tweeted the American flag after the killing of Soleimani.
“We warn the Great Satan, the arrogant American regime that any new invasions and aggression will result in more painful and pounding responses,” the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps stated.
A U.S. official confirmed to ABC News that the facilities include Erbil in northern Iraq and Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq.
A Pentagon spokesman said more than 15 missiles were launched from Iran. The attack started at 5:30 p.m. local time.
“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,” wrote Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.
“This morning, courageous fighters of the IRGC’s Air Force launched a successful operation called Operation Martyr Soleimani, with the code ‘Oh Zahra’ by firing tens of ground-to-ground missiles at the base of the terrorist and invasive US forces,” the country’s state-run news outlet ISNA reported.
It is unclear if there have been any injuries or casualties. A Defense Department statement said they are still working on initial damage assessments. A senior administration official and a U.S. official told ABC News late Tuesday that there were no indications of American casualties so far.
“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. These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region,” Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
As of 7 p.m. Eastern time, U.S. officials confirmed that missiles were still inbound from Iran to multiple locations inside Iraq, specifically Erbil and Al Assad.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement after the attack, saying in part that Trump had been briefed on the situation. “We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq. The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”
Late Tuesday night Trump tweeted that “all is well” and that he plans to make a statement Wednesday morning.
During a briefing at the Pentagon on Tuesday, Defense Secretary Mark Espe said the U.S. was ready to retaliate for any attack launched by Iran.
“Thirdly, to our partners and allies and to the Iran regime, I would like to say we are not looking to start a war with Iran. But we are prepared to finish one,” Esper said. “As I’ve told my many colleagues, as I spoke to them over the last few days, what we like to see is the situation be de-escalated and for Iran to sit down with us to begin a discussion about a better way ahead.”