The United States military knew in advance that Iran was launching a missile attack against military bases in Iraq, a new report claims.
This week, Iran launched a series of missiles that struck bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq, causing damage but leaving no casualties among either American or allied forces. As USA Today reported, early warning defense systems allowed American forces to know that the attack was coming and move troops to safety to prevent casualties.
“The [U.S. military] official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, added that a hangar was damaged at al Assad, a sprawling complex 100 miles west of Baghdad that houses about 1,500 coalition forces,” the report noted. “But the warnings allowed troops and other personnel to scramble into hardened bunkers for safety. U.S. and coalition personnel in Iraq on the mission to combat ISIS have been practicing drills for missile attacks for some time, the official said.”
The attacks cause minimal damage to the facilities, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday. After initial reports stated that the Iraqi military coalition suffered a casualty, it was determined that there were no injuries from the attacks.
The strikes came just days after Trump authorized an attack at the Baghdad airport that left Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani dead. Iran had vowed retribution afterward, and the missile strikes in Iraq appeared to be the extent of the response.
As The Inquisitr reported, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said that his country’s response had concluded with the missile attacks and that it did not wish to further escalate attacks against the United States or its allies.
“Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched,” Zarif tweeted. “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”
Trump also appeared to cool tensions in a statement to the American people on Wednesday. As CBS News reported, the president concluded his remarks with a message directly to Iran, saying that the United States wants the country to have “a great future” and that they are “ready to embrace peace.”
While both Trump and Iran appear to be moving away from military action, tensions between the countries remain high and there could still be more conflict, even if not militarily. During his remarks on Wednesday, the president said that the United States will impose new and powerful sanctions on Iran.