Update 9: According to Iran’s semi-official news agency Tasnim, a “second wave” of attacks targeting an unidentified US base in Iraq. Meanwhile, the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, has issued a statement urging U.S. people to call back American soldiers from the region. The IRGC statement adds that more details of the missile attack will be published later.
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Update 8: The Pentagon has released a full statement on the attacks, claiming that more than a dozen missiles were fired from within Iran, and that at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US troops were targeted.
Statement from Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman
At approximately 5:30 p.m. (EST) on January 7, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil.
We are working on initial battle damage assessments.
In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and 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 U.S. 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.
Meanwhile, more footage of the attacks has appeared on social media:
— Hala Jaber (@HalaJaber) January 8, 2020
US F-35s have been scrambled from bases in Turkey and the UAE.
Meanwhile, Iran claims that a “second wave” of attacks targeting an unidentified US base in Iraq is beginning, according to semi-official news agency Tasnim. The IRGC is also threatening to attack any other countries that host US troops.
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Update 7: This is about to go to ’11’.
US jets are reportedly “in the air” and leaving Turkey as stocks extend their decline, and oil futures continue to climb. Reports are claiming that shelling has stopped at Al Asad Air Base, and that roughly 35 rounds hit the base.
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham: “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 spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.”
The Pentagon has confirmed that more than a dozen missiles were launched from Iran. “It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran.” But others claim there appears to be some doubt.
Some media reports noted that the base has been visited by President Trump in the past, giving the attack a special significance. US military sources are saying that troops at the base are still in lockdown, though the attack is said to be over.
Initial reports on NBC Nightly News claimed US officials are looking into whether the attacks originated from within Iranian territory, a question that was also explored immediately following the Aramco attack late last year.
Iranian TV is already threatening “more violent responses” if the US retaliates for these latest attacks.
And so, Iran’s promised “historic nightmare” has begun.
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Update 6: The drop in S&P futures is accelerating as more senior US military officials confirm that a US army base in Iraq is under ballistic missile attack. The drop in S&P futures is accelerating as US and Iranian sources report attacks “all over the country.”
Brent futures have extended their gains to 3% on the news, which seems to suggest that the crisis between the US and Iran over the killing of Suleimani is far from over.
While details on casualties are still unclear, experts are saying that the weapons used were either cruise missiles, or short-range ballistic weaponry, or possibly a mix.
From senior US military source in Iraq:
“Under missile attack from Iran. These are either cruise missiles or short range ballistic missiles. All over the country.”
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) January 7, 2020
And we now have a statement from the IRGC claiming responsibility for the attacks: “The brave soldiers of IRGC’s aerospace unit have launched a successful attack with tens of ballistic missiles on Al Assad military base in the name of martyr Gen. Qasem Soleimani.”
Looking ahead, many are wondering if the fighting will reach Baghdad.
Meanwhile, it is quite calm here in #Baghdad, but not expected to stay for long.. It is the WAR
— Feras Kilani فراس كيلاني (@FerasKilaniBBC) January 7, 2020
And the White House has confirmed that President Trump has been briefed on the attacks, and is monitoring the situation closely with his national security team at the White House.
Given the severity of the situation, it’s still strange that the US was slow to confirm the initial reports. A reporter for CNN is reporting that the Pentagon was slow to respond because officials were “sent home early for what was supposed to be a major snowstorm” in DC.
Nancy Pelosi was reportedly briefed about the attacks during a steering meeting. Her response to her fellow members? Pray….