The U.S. Department of Defense issued a press statement Tuesday night, confirming Iran launched dozens of ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq.
“At approximately 5:30 p.m. (EST) on January 7, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq.” the statement said. “It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil.”
The Pentagon said it is still performing an initial damage assessment, following the missile attack.
“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,” the statement continued . “These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.”
The Pentagon said they “will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region,” as more information about the attack becomes available.
Prior to the Iranian attacks, Defense Secretary Mark Esper tweeted “The United States does not seek conflict, but will respond forcefully if necessary.”
The United States does not seek conflict, but will respond forcefully if necessary. Afghan President @ashrafghani and Pakistani General Bajwa both offered sound counsel and advice in calls today.
— Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper (@EsperDoD) January 7, 2020
Esper revealed U.S. efforts with regional partners seeking deescalation with Iran, which he said included calls with advice from the president of Afghanistan and a Pakistani General.
Iran has been calling for ‘severe revenge’ against the U.S. after an airstrike last Thursday that brought about the death of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Those calls for revenge have included suggestion of attacks on up to 35 U.S. targets in the region, including warships in the Persian Gulf.