President Donald Trump late on Tuesday responded to Iranian attacks on two military bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops and coalition personnel, saying, “All is well” and he would make a statement on Wednesday morning.
“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq,” President Trump tweeted. “Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020
The president’s comments came after news reports emerged that Iran had claimed responsibility for the attacks. Earlier in the day, Iranian state TV reported that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, “has hit U.S. Al Asad Air Base in Iraq with tens of missiles.” The IRGC warned the United States of more “crushing responses in case of new aggression,” according to state TV.
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman said that Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces stationed at the Al Asad Air Base and in Irbil on Tuesday night.
“In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners,” Hoffman said in a statement. “These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.”
“As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region,” he added.
Early reports indicated that there were no U.S. casualties in the attacks, though battle damage assessment is still ongoing.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tuesday that Tehran had taken “proportionate measures in self–defense” and does not seek “escalation or war” after the attacks.
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.
We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 8, 2020
The attacks occurred after a U.S. drone strike killed the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last week. U.S. officials have blamed Soleimani for being responsible for the death of hundreds of U.S. troops and locals over the years and a number of recent attacks, including one that led to the death of an American contractor in Iraq and a violent attack on the U.S. Embassy last week. Iranian leadership vowed to seek revenge after Soleimani’s death.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday night called the Iranian attacks “an act of war” and suggested the administration could target Tehran’s oil facilities.
“Your fate is in your own hands in terms of the regime’s economic viability,” Graham told Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “You continue this crap, you’re going to wake up one day out of the oil business.”