Iran launched 15 ballistic missiles at two (2) military bases used by U.S. forces in Iraq, the Pentagon said Tuesday night, as long-simmering tensions between Washington and Tehran erupted into fiery explosions and fears of all-out war after the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general.
Eleven missiles hit the bases in western and northern Iraq and four failed in flight, according to a U.S. Defense official, who said there were no confirmed reports of American casualties in the audacious predawn attack.
There was no immediate U.S. military response or statement from President Trump after the barrage, although he tweeted that he would address the nation on Wednesday. Aides said he had been briefed and was monitoring the crisis with his national security advisors.
The U.S. has many options for retaliation if Trump chooses to escalate the conflict further.
But in the immediate aftermath of the missile strikes, both Tehran and Washington appeared to signal a possible pause in the cycle of attack and retaliation in which they have been locked for the last several weeks. “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting [the] base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched,” he said,
referring to the sprawling Asad Air Base in western Iraq, which is a major base for U.S. drone attacks. “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression,” he wrote.
Whether Zarif fully speaks for all factions of Iran’s government, however, is unclear. He has frequently been denounced by figures allied with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Trump’s advisors also have offered divided counsel over Iran. At least some administration hard-liners have openly rooted for a wider confrontation, seeing that as an opportunity to severely damage, or perhaps overthrow Iran’s theocratic government, and at least one informal advisor called Tuesday night for Trump to hit Iran hard.
Watch Video Of The Missile Attack Below: