Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says none of its missiles were intercepted during Wednesday’s heavy strike that targeted two US bases inside Iraq to avenge the United States’ assassination of its senior commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
There have been initial reports of casualties.
Shortly after the strikes, Iran urged the US forces to swiftly leave the regionand advised US commanders against any new military action, warning that “a more crushing and decisive response” will be awaiting them.
“The time has come for the evil rulers of the United States to withdraw their terrorist army forces as quickly as possible from the region,” Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri said on Wednesday.
The reprisal was staged in the early hours of Wednesday, hitting Ain al-Assad Airbase in the western Iraqi province of Anbar and another outpost in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
The attacks were launched at 1:20 a.m. local time, the exact moment the US military launched drone strikes on Friday that led to the martyrdom of General Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Quds Force, and the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) anti-terror group, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, among others, in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
General Soleimani was cooperating with the PMU and the Iraqi government against the most deadly terrorist outfits to ever afflict the region, including the Daesh Takfiri group.
The Islamic Republic has denounced the assassinations as “an act of state terrorism.”
Tehran also said it reserved the right to respond in kind, with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei famously warning about “harsh revenge” in a speech that followed the assassinations.
(This is a developing story.)