Topline: Iran has fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two air bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops, the Pentagon said Tuesday, in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s killing of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
- The strikes targeted the Ain Assad and Irbil military bases in Iraq.
- The Pentagon said it is currently working on “initial battle damage assessments.” There have been no confirmed reports of causalities on Tuesday night.
- Crude oil prices jumped following reports of the missile strikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 114 points in today’s trading.
- The Federal Aviation Administration banned all U.S. non-military flights operating in airspace over Iraq, Iran and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
- In a statement hours after the strikes, Trump tweeted, “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!”
- Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that the country doesn’t want tensions to rise. “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.”
Chief critics: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted that “America & world cannot afford war.”
“We must ensure the safety of our servicemembers, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence,” she said.
Key background: The U.S. and Iran have been on a collision course since Trump backed out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. But tensions escalated further last week when Trump ordered the air strike that killed Soleimani, a prominent military leader in the country who has assisted and funded a network of proxy militias, including Hezbollah and Hamas. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Tuesday that Soleimani was planning an attack on U.S. interests within days of his death, but did not offer any details about the intelligence underpinning those plans. Democrats, meanwhile, called the air strike a reckless decision that bring the U.S. closer to an unnecessary war with Iran.