US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Iran appeared to be “standing down” after Tehran fired missiles at airbases housing US forces in Iraq.
Trump said there were no American or Iraqi casualties in the attacks, and “only minimal damage was sustained in our military bases.”
“As long as I am the president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” he said.
“I am pleased to inform you the American people should be extremely grateful and happy, no Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime.
“We suffered no casualties; all of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. Our great American forces are prepared for anything.
“Iran appears to be standing down which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a good thing for the world.”
Trump also said, “I salute the incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform for far too long, all the way back to 1979 to be exact; nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behaviour in the middle east and beyond, those days are over.
“Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism and their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilised world, we will never let that happen.”
Iran had launched the missiles early Wednesday in response to the killing of senior Revolution Guards commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Iraq last week. The strike was ordered by President Trump.
“This morning, courageous fighters of the IRGC’s Air Force launched a successful operation called Operation Martyr Soleimani, with the code ‘Oh Zahra’ by firing tens of ground-to-ground missiles at the base of the terrorist and invasive U.S. forces,” the country’s state-run news outlet ISNA reported.
Iranian state TV had said ‘tens’ of surface-to-surface missiles were launched by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
“Under missile attack from Iran,” Fox News reported a senior US military source in Iraq said.
“These are either cruise missiles or short range ballistic missiles. All over the country.”
It is not clear if there were any casualties, although Trump had earlier tweeted that “all is well”.
Concise News understands that Trump had particularly cited the killing of an American defense contractor Nawres Hamid in Iraq by a group loyal to Iranian forces as reason for ordering the airstrikes that killed Soleimani.
Hamid was killed on 27 December when, according to US authorities, an Iranian-backed militia fired rockets at a military base near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.