Iran attacks US troops: Donald Trump says 'all is well' after Tehran fires 15 rockets

7 January 2020, 23:50 | Updated: 8 January 2020, 08:34

Iran fired missiles at Coalition airbases in Iraq
Iran fired missiles at Coalition airbases in Iraq. Picture: PA

Donald Trump has said "all is well" and it is "so far so good" as damage and casualty assessments are carried out in the wake of Iran launching missiles at airbases housing American troops in Iraq.

The attack, launched at around 1.30am local time (10.30pm GMT), targeted Al Asad base and the Erbil vase in Kurdistan.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards - the force in charged of the country's missile programme - claimed in a statement on state TV that the rockets were fired in retaliation for the death of General Qassem Soleimani.

Soleimani was killed in an airstrike ordered by the US President on Friday.

According the the regime's state-owned media, the name of tonight's attack was "Martyr Soleimai" and took place just hours after his funeral.

The Pentagon confirmed the attacks had taken place, with Defence Department spokesman Jonathan Hoffman saying: "It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran."

American officials said 15 missiles were fired, with 10 striking the Ain al-Asad based 100 miles west of Baghdad, one striking a base in Irbil in northern Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, and another four missing their targets.

It is not yet known if there have been any deaths as a result of the missile strikes. Donald Trump said an assessment of the impact of the attacks was under way.

According the the regime's state-owned media, the name of tonight's attack was "Martyr Soleimai" and took place just hours after his funeral.

After a night of growing tension, the strikes ceased, allowing the chance for either side to deescalate the situation.

The Iranians were the first to break the silence, with Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zafrim, saying the actions were "proportionate" and did "not seek escalation or war".

He said: "Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defence 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."

Donald Trump is expected to make a statement later.

In the wake of the attacks, Mr Trump tweeted "all is well" and said an assessment of damages and casualties was taking place.

Mr Trump visited al-Asad airbase with the First Lady in December 2018
Mr Trump visited al-Asad airbase with the First Lady in December 2018. Picture: PA

He chose not to address the America in the immediate aftermath, instead saying a full statement would be made in the morning.

His full statement - issued on Twitter - said: "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."

Soleimani's killing came at a time when relations between America and Iran were already deteriorating.

The general controlled much of Iran's proxy forces across the Middle East, and has been blamed for a number of American deaths.

The US government regarded the general as a terrorist, and Mr Trump said he ordered the fatal strike after learning of "imminent" attacks.

But Iran promised "severe revenge" for his death, and in the days following missiles were fired at the US Embassy in Baghdad.

In a statement, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman said: "At approximately 5:30 pm on Jan. 7, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq.

"These missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US military and coalition personnel.

"We are working on initial battle damage assessments. 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.

"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 US personnel, partners and allies in the region."

A British Foreign Office spokesperson said they were "urgently working to establish the facts on the ground," and added: "Our first priority is the security of British personnel.”

Trump’s press secretary Stephanie Grisham added: “We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq.

"The president has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”

The air base, in Iraq's western Anbar province, was first used by American forces after the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

It later saw American troops stationed there amid the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.