After last Thursday’s United States drone strike that killed Iran’s top military leader General Qassem Soleimani, Donald Trump appeared to celebrate the deadly attack on his Twitter account, posting an image of an American flag, without comment.
On Tuesday, after Iran retaliated by firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases where U.S. troops are stationed, a high-ranking Iranian official took to his own Twitter account to mock Trump. Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, posted an image of an Iranian flag, also without comment.
Jalili’s tweet “seems to be a counterpoint to Donald Trump’s tweet featuring a low-resolution image of the American flag,” after the assassination of Soleimani, according to The Guardian newspaper.
A statement issued by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards took responsibility for the rocket attacks, saying that they were carried out “in the name of Soleimani,” according to the Guardian account.
The Guardian also quoted a Pentagon statement issued at about 7:20 p.m. EST, in which the U.S. military confirmed that the missiles were launched at two bases, at Al-Assad and Irbil in Iraq, both of which house American and Iraqi troops. The Pentagon statement made no mention of casualties in the rocket attacks.
“It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran,” the Pentagon statement said.
Iran’s state news agency also confirmed the rocket attacks, as quoted by ABC News.
“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,” Iran’s government-run ISNA television network reported, as quoted by ABC News. The IRGC is the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps.
On Monday, when asked by reporters about the possibility that Iran may carry out retaliatory strikes against U.S. troops, Trump simply said, “If it happens, it happens.”
He added that the U.S. would carry out “major retaliation” for any Iranian attacks, according to an NBC News report.
According to The Guardian, a second wave of missiles was reported by Iranian media to be in the air as late as 7:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, which would be 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning in Iran.
The IRGC also indicated that the rocket attacks would not be the last of Iran’s retaliatory strikes against U.S. interests. According to Al-Jazeera correspondent Arwa Ibrahim, reporting via her Twitter account, the Revolutionary Guard issued a statement saying that the U.S. should expect even more “crushing responses” to come.
Trump was reported to be monitoring the situation, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo along with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, was seen arriving at the White House at about 7:45 p.m. EST, The Guardian reported. Esper was said to be “carrying a large bag.”