This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Iran fired multiple ballistic missiles at a variety of locations in Iraq. According to Fox News, Iranian state television is reporting that Tehran launched “tens” of surface-to-surface missiles at Ain Assad, an airbase in western Iraq that is currently housing American troops. One U.S. official told ABC News that rockets were also fired at Erbil, an airbase in the northern Iraqi Kurdistan region. Iran alleges the attacks are in response to the targeted killing of Quds Force leader, Qassam Suleimani.
#BREAKING: The Dept. of Defense confirms that Iran has launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq at Al Asad and Irbil pic.twitter.com/o8LnRcFmhk
— Norah O'Donnell 🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) January 8, 2020
“The fierce revenge by the Revolutionary Guards has begun,” announced Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on national television this evening.
According to the New York Times, one American official reported that six rockets had landed at the airbase, though the official could not confirm they were indeed missiles. This report is in conflict with Iraq’s Joint Military Command, which alleges seven rockets hit the base.
Earlier today, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper stated in a press conference that Suleimani, at the time of his death, had been planning attacks against U.S. targets in the coming days. During the press conference, media outlets pressed Esper on when the United States should expect an Iranian response and whether it was a matter of weeks or days. Esper responded, “I think it’s more fair to say days.” Esper assured audiences the Pentagon was preparing for Iranian retaliation and that U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East were on full alert.
There is currently no word regarding injuries as a result of the rocket attacks.