Tensions flared up between the U.S. and Iran after a US strike that killed a senior Iranian commander last week. Iran claims that it has launched more than a dozen missiles on the US base in Iraq, leaving 80 Americans dead in the strike.
Iranian state television said at least 80 “American terrorists” were killed in attacks by launching 15 missiles on US targets in Iraq, adding that none of the missiles were intercepted. State TV, citing a senior Revolutionary Guards source, also said Iran had 100 other targets in the region in its sights if Washington took any retaliatory measures. It also said US helicopters and military equipment were ‘severely damaged’.
That attack was the deadliest against US forces in Iraq in decades and raised fears of a new war between the US and Iran. Later on, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the strikes were a “slap in the face” to the U.S. and not sufficient retaliation for the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.
“We received an official verbal message from the Islamic Republic of Iran that the Iranian response to the assassination of Qasem Soleimani had begun or would begin shortly, and that the strike would be limited to where the US military was located in Iraq without specifying the locations,” Iraq’s prime minister’s office said Wednesday.
Iraq’s President Barham Saleh condemned Iran’s missile strikes on Iraqi bases where the US and other foreign troops are based, saying he feared “dangerous developments” in the region. “We denounce the Iranian missile bombing that hit military installations on Iraqi territory and renew our rejection of the repeated violation of state sovereignty and the transformation of Iraq into a battlefield for warring sides,” his office said in a statement.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the attack by Iran on military bases in Iraq housing western troops in retaliation for the U.S. killing of an Iranian general. “We of course condemn the attack on Iraqi military bases hosting coalition forces. Iran should not repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks but must instead pursue urgent de-escalation,” Johnson told parliament.