In Brief

Iran missiles target US troops: what we know so far

Tehran has launched more than a dozen missiles at air bases in Iraq

Iran has launched more than a dozen missiles at US and coalition military sites in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of top general Qasem Soleimani.

Tehran fired the 22 short-range missiles from Iranian territories at about 1.30am local time (10.30pm GMT) on Wednesday, just hours after the burial of Soleimani.

US officials have confirmed that there was no American casulties, while the Iraqi joint military command also said that there were no Iraqi deaths as a result of the attack, CNN reports. 

The missile launches were a “major retaliation” by the regime, Fox News says.

According to the Pentagon, two sites were attacked, in Irbil and Al Asad, west Baghdad. A White House spokesperson added: “The president has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”

Donald Trump has tweeted that “All is well!” The US president added: “Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”

In a statement following the attack, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said: “We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted.”

It added: “To the Great Satan... 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.”

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei described the strike as “a slap in the face” for the US, adding: “When it comes to confrontation, military action of this kind is not enough. What is important is that the corrupt presence of the United States should come to an end.”

However, the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, later seemed to be attempting to play down the tension, saying: “We do not seek escalation or war.”

Yashar Ali – an American journalist of Iranian descent - tweeted that it was “naïve” to think the attack heralded the end of the row.  He added: “If you think Iran lobbing missiles over the border is the kind of revenge they ultimately have in mind, you’re wrong.”

According to CNN, “the crisis the world feared when President Donald Trump was elected president is upon us”.

In a post on Twitter, Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor and Iran expert at the University of Ottawa, said: “Iran assesses Trump does not want to get bogged down in a large scale war in the Middle East, and that this gives it more margin to manoeuvre.

“Needless to say, this is a HUGE gamble given how unpredictable Trump is.”

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