Iran launches missiles at US military facilities in Iraq: US official
“This morning, courageous fighters of the IRGC’s Air Force launched a successful operation called Operation Martyr Soleimani, with the code ‘Oh Zahra’ by firing tens of ground-to-ground missiles at the base of the terrorist and invasive U.S. forces named Ain Al Asad,” the country’s state-run news outlet ISNA reported.
A U.S. official confirms to ABC News that ballistic missiles have been fired from inside Iran at multiple U.S. military facilities inside Iraq on Wednesday morning, local time. The facilities include Erbil in northern Iraq and Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq, the official said.
The White House said it was aware of the reports.
“We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq,” according to a statement from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham. “The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”
The attack comes days after the U.S. killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone attack in Iraq.
The recent developments were likely to spark fear of a U.S. war with Iran. Iranian leaders have vowed revenge for the American airstrike against Soleimani, who the U.S. has blamed for the recent death of an American military contractor.
Trump and his top aides defended the drone killing of Soleimani, insisting that he was planning an attack on U.S. service members and diplomats.
“He was planning a very big attack and a very bad attack, for us, and for other people,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday afternoon prior to the missile attack on U.S. sites in Iraq.
“He was a monster,” Trump later added of Soleimani.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a briefing at the Pentagon on Tuesday afternoon that the U.S. was ready to retaliate for any attack launched by Iran.
“To our partners and allies and to the Iran regime, I would like to say we are not looking to start a war with Iran. But we are prepared to finish one,” Esper said. “As I’ve told my many colleagues, as I spoke to them over the last few days, what we like to see is the situation be de-escalated and for Iran to sit down with us to begin a discussion about a better way ahead.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
ABC News’ Anne Flaherty contributed to this report.