Iran fires rockets at US troops in Iraq

Iran, Iraq, Donald Trump, Qasem Soleimani

Iran has fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at military bases in Iraq, which house US and coalition troops.

The Pentagon said at least two sites were attacked, in Irbil and Al-Asad.

It is unclear if there have been any casualties at this stage. US President Donald Trump tweeted that “All is well.”

The Federal Aviation Administration announced after the missile attacks that it is barring US pilots and carriers from flying in areas of Iraqi, Iran and some Persian Gulf airspace.

The agency is warning of the “potential for miscalculation or mis-identification” for civilian aircraft amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran.

Such restrictions are often precautionary in nature to prevent civilian aircraft from being confused for ones engaged in armed conflict. The FAA says the restrictions are being issued due to “heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations.”

The rocket attack by Iran on Iraq follows the death of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani by a drone strike in Baghdad on Friday, on the orders of US President Donald Trump. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the attack was in retaliation for the death of Soleimani.

“We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted,” it said via a statement carried by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency.

Iran had threatened “severe revenge” for Soleimani’s death.

President Trump is “monitoring” the situation.

“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.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper arrived at the White House following the missile attacks on US and coalition forces in Iraq and have briefed politicians.

The Pentagon confirmed more than a dozen rockets had been launched against US military and coalition forces in Iraq and that they had come from Iran.

“We are working on initial battle damage assessments,” the Pentagon said.

“In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense (sic) 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 US personnel, partners, and allies in the region.”

Trump today said the killing of Qasem Soleimani saved a lot of lives.

Trump said Soleimani “was planning a big attack” when he was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad last Friday.

“He was a monster. And he’s no longer a monster. He’s dead,” Trump said.

“He was planning a big attack and bad attack for us. I don’t think anyone can complain about it.”

Iran was burying Soleimani on Tuesday, when a stampede at the funeral killed 50 people and injured 200 more.

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