Date
10 January 2020
A file picture shows US President Donald Trump addressing American troops during an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq on Dec 26, 2018. The air base has been targeted by Iran in a rocket attack early on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters
A file picture shows US President Donald Trump addressing American troops during an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq on Dec 26, 2018. The air base has been targeted by Iran in a rocket attack early on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

Iran fires rockets at Iraqi airbase that hosts US forces

Iran fired rockets early on Wednesday at Iraq’s al Asad airbase, which hosts US forces, hours after the funeral of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a US drone strike last Friday, Reuters reports.

Iranian news agency Mehr was quoted as saying that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had targeted the base.

It was not immediately clear what the extent of damage or casualties was at the base, Reuters said.

Tehran had vowed retaliation for the killing of Soleimani, sparking fears of a wider war in the Middle East.

US President Donald Trump has been briefed on reports of an attack on US facilities in Iraq and is monitoring the situation, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said.

“We are aware of the reports of attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq. The president has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team,” Grisham said in a statement.

Earlier on Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the United States should anticipate retaliation from Iran over the killing in Iraq of Soleimani, commander of the elite Quds Force.

“I think we should expect that they will retaliate in some way, shape or form,” Esper told a news briefing at the Pentagon, adding that such retaliation could be through Iran-backed proxy groups outside of Iran or “by their own hand.”

“We’re prepared for any contingency. And then we will respond appropriately to whatever they do.”

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