After Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases where United States troops are stationed, Donald Trump was reportedly preparing to give a nationally televised address on Tuesday night — even as experts on the Middle East urged caution, saying that a statement by Iran appeared to indicate that they would not stage more attacks.
But a later statement from the White House appeared to indicate that Trump would not deliver any address to the nation on Tuesday. However, “he may deliver statements or updates via tweet,” according to a report by The Guardian newspaper.
The rocket attacks were staged in response to the United States drone strike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on Thursday. As of 8:30 p.m. EST, there were no reports regarding American casualties in the Iranian rocket attack. The two bases that, according to the Pentagon, were attacked by Iran were Iraqi military facilities that housed both Iraqi and U.S. troops.
One of the two bases, Al-Asad airbase in Anbar province, was struck by six missiles, according to the report by The Guardian. Also as of 8:30 p.m. EST, the White House had not confirmed whether Trump would, in fact, deliver a televised address, expected to announce the U.S. response to the rocket attacks.
Breaking: IRINN, an Iranian national TV channel, has announced that Iran has launched dozens of rockets towards Ain al-Assad airbase, which hosts US troops. pic.twitter.com/trS87v0sij— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) January 7, 2020
But according to the Middle East Security Director at the Center for a New American Security think tank, a statement by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps indicated that the rocket attacks would be the final response to the killing of Soleimani – unless the U.S. carried out further retaliation.
“This may not be an escalation, just the response they felt they needed to make,” write Ilan Goldenberg of CNAS on his Twitter account. “Again everyone CHILL.”
In another tweet, Goldenberg said that the U.S. “can afford to take our time and assess this attack before deciding to respond.” He added that it would be unnecessary to “rush quickly to retaliate” before knowing the full impact of the Iranian attack, including any American casualties, as well as before fully understanding the “message Iran is sending” with its public statements.
Tasnim News Agency, a private news organization in Iran with close links to the Revolutionary Guard Corps, published the IRGC statement after the rocket attacks were underway.
“We warn the Great Satan, the bloodthirsty and arrogant regime of the U.S., that any new wicked act or more moves and aggressions will bring about more painful and crushing responses,” the Revolutionary Guard statement read, according to Tasnim News. But the statement, Goldenberg noted, did not say that there would be further Iranian retaliation unless the United States hit back after Tuesday’s rocket attacks.