Iranian state television said on Wednesday that at least 80 “American terrorists” were killed in attacks involving 15 missiles Tehran launched on U.S. 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 U.S. helicopters and military equipment were “severely damaged”. It did not provide evidence of how it obtained that information.
Iran launched missile attacks on U.S.-led forces in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East.
Iranian state television said Iran had fired 15 missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq early on Wednesday. The U.S. military said at least two Iraqi facilities hosting U.S.-led coalition personnel were targeted at about 1:30 a.m. Iraq time (2230 GMT on Tuesday). Iraq said 22 missiles were fired.
Iranian officials said Tehran did not want a war and its strikes “concluded” its response to Friday’s killing of Qassem Soleimani, a powerful general whose burial in Iran after days of mourning was completed around the same time as Iran’s missile launches. Iranian state television showed mourners celebrating the attack.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet that an assessment of casualties and damage from the strikes was under way and that he would make a statement on Wednesday morning.
One source said early indications were of no U.S. casualties, while other U.S. officials declined to comment.
“As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region,” Hoffman said.
Hours earlier on Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the United States should anticipate a response from Iran for the killing of Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, a unit of the Revolutionary Guards.
“I think we should expect that they will retaliate in some way, shape or form,” he told a briefing at the Pentagon.
If the U.S. military was spared casualties and Iran takes no further measures to retaliate for Soleimani’s killing, there might be an opportunity for Washington and Tehran to seek a way out to their increasingly violent confrontation.
News Source: NDTV