The U.S. military Early Warning System that was operating at two bases targeted by Iraqi forces in Iran saved the troops from injury or death, said the defense secretary.

The U.S. Air Force was operating early warning aircraft, flying radar high in the skies, as well as spy satellites in space able to detect the movement of ballistic missiles from Iran, said U.S. officials, reported Fox News.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to reporters on Wednesday Jan. 8. “I believe, based on what I saw and what I know is that they were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and equipment and aircraft, and to kill personnel,” Milley said.

The retaliatory strikes against U.S. bases in Iraq on Tuesday came after the president ordered a precision strike on Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds force, at Baghdad International Airport.

The president took aim at the previous Obama administration’s policy on Iran. “The missiles fired last night at us, and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,” he said.

The president, speaking to Rush Limbaugh on his radio show on Tuesday Jan. 6 said, “I don’t think they had a purpose. I don’t think they knew what was happening. Why did he give them $150 billion, much of it going back into terror? If you look at what’s happening. When I first came into office, I went to the Pentagon, and they showed me 18 “sites of confliction,” meaning conflict over there. And every one of them was started by Iran, either their soldiers or they paid for soldiers, soldiers for hire. I have no idea what they tried to do with appeasement.”

In his defense of the decision to eliminate the world’s No. 1 terrorist Quds Force Gen. Qassem Soleimani last Thursday night, the president stressed both former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were remiss in not taking the terrorist down on their watch.

“Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash,” he said. “Instead of saying thank you to the United States, they chanted ‘Death to America.'”