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Iran says it used Fateh missiles in attack on US airbase

A test-fire of the Fateh-110, an Iranian Ballistic single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile. (Hossein Velayati/Wikimedia Commons)
January 08, 2020

Iranian forces reportedly used a type of Fateh missile its Wednesday attack on the U.S. bases in Ayn al-Asad and Erbil in Iraq.

Iranian state media reports the missiles used were Fateh-313 ballistic missiles, while most U.S. media claimed the missiles were Fateh-110s.

Weapons expert Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California, also said he believes the missiles were Fateh-110s, NBC reported. Both are short-range ballistic missiles.

The Pentagon reported that Iran launched “over a dozen” targeting two locations in Iraq: Ain-al-Asad airbase and Erbil in central and northern Iraq.

Iranian media appear to be exaggerating the scale of the attack and the damage done in order to make it look proportional to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani by the United States on Thursday.

“Fifteen missiles were fired at 20 sensitive locations,” an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) representative told Fars News Agency. “Numerous drones and helicopters were destroyed.”

Additionally, the State-run media outlet reported at least 80 U.S. servicemen were killed in the attack on the Ayn al-Asad Air Base by the IRGC.

However, U.S. officials and President Donald Trump have previously stated that there have not yet been any casualties. U.S. allies stationed at either of the two bases, including Finland and Lithuania, have reported their people were unharmed, according to NPR.

“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned — and a very good thing for the world,” President Trump said.

“I”m pleased to inform you, the American people should be extremely grateful and happy. No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime,” Trump said Wednesday in a speech at the White House. “We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.”

It is also believed that the Qiam 1 missiles, which have a longer range, were used in the attack on strike Ain-al-Asad.

After Trump ordered the airstrike that killed Soleimani, he threatened to destroy 52 cultural sites–one for each U.S. hostage in the Iran hostage crisis that took place from 1979 to 1981.

The U.S. Air Force also deployed on Monday six B-52 bombers to Diego Garcia, an island base located 2,300 miles south of Iran’s southernmost tip in the Indian Ocean in anticipation of the retaliation.

Soleimani was actively planning an attack on the United States, the Pentagon said in a statement.

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the Pentagon said. “General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”

“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the statement added. “The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei followed through with his call for revenge for the death of Soleimani, but the hostile nation said that it will no longer attack the United States, on the condition the United States does not respond with an attack against them.

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Iran does “not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”

So far, Trump has only responded by placing sanctions on them.

“As long as I’m President of the United States. Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” Trump said.