Monday, December 4, 2023

Iran attacks bases in Iraq housing US troops

One of four F-16 fighter jets sits on a runway during the delivery ceremony in Balad Air Base in Salahuddin province, northern Iraq, 20 July 2015. According to reports the US made delivery of four F-16s tot he Iraqi Airforce during a ceremony at the Balad Air Base in the presence of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, Iraqi Defense Minister, Khalid al Obaidi, and the US ambassador to Iraq Stuart E. Jones. Iraqi authorities have agreed to buy 36 F-16s as they continue to battle the group calling themselves the Islamic State (IS).

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Iran has launched more than a dozen missiles at multiple Iraqi bases hosting US and coalition troops, Pentagon officials confirmed.
The move is seen as retaliation for last week’s killing of the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force Qassem Suleimani by a US drone strike.
“The US Marines must immediately return to their dens to make their coffins,” said Akram al-Kaabi, head of the Iraqui Shi’ite paramilitary group, Harakat al-Nujaba.
Iraq, the UK, Australia, Canada and the US said none of their personnel had been killed or injured.
Immediately after the strikes, US president Donald Trump tweeted: “All is well!”, and added that casualty assessments were “so far, so good”.
“We just gave [the US] a slap in the face last night. But that is not equivalent to what they did”, said Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.
US allies had already begun leaving Baghdad, after the US-led coalition and NATO said they will temporarily withdraw some troops from Iraq due to tensions between the US and Iran in the region. Most of the NATO troops were reported to be heading for Kuwait.
“We condemn this attack on Iraqi military bases hosting coalition, including British forces. We are concerned by reports of casualties and use of ballistic missiles. We urge Iran not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation”, said the British foreign secretary Dominic Raab, in a response to the strikes.
“We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression”, said Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“We are not looking to start a war with Iran, but we are prepared to finish one”, said US Secretary of defense Mark Esper.

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