Iran fires rockets at US military base in Iraq

Iran fires rockets at US military base in Iraq
Iran fires rockets at US military base in Iraq

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fired more than a dozen missiles at multiple locations in Iraq, including a joint Iraqi-US base late on Tuesday, in a retaliation for the targeted killing of its most senior military general last week.

Iran state television said IRGC launched the attack, which is described as revenge for the killing of Gen Qassem Suleimani.

Iran has threatened "severe revenge" for Suleimani's death.

A White House official confirmed to The National the attacks on multiple locations in Iraq.

Reports from US media confirmed that the Ain Al Asad base was coming under siege. Another US military facility was targeted in Erbil in northern Iraq, according to ABC News.

One official said the "airbase that houses US & coalition troops in Iraq has been hit with six rockets," while another military source said the "base is being hit now with indirect fire, rounds are still coming in, about 30 so far."

It is not yet known whether there are any casualties from the attack.

"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," White House communications director Stephanie Grisham said.

US President Donald visited the base in 2018.

A statement from assistant to the secretary of defence for public affairs Jonathan Hoffman said the Pentagon was working on "initial battle damage assessments".

"In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defence has take all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and our 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."

"As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend US personnel, partners, and allies in the region."

"Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we will continue to provide updates as they become available."

The price of oil spiked following news of the attack, from $62.70 to $63.67, as investors became spooked at the heightening tensions in the Gulf.

Earlier on Tuesday, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said he fully expected Tehran to retaliate for the planned hit on Suleimani.

"I think we should expect they will retaliate in some way, shape or form," the Pentagon chief told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday.

More to follow..

Updated: January 8, 2020 04:18 AM

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