Iran has fired more than a dozen rockets at two Iraqi military bases hosting US troops, the Pentagon confirmed.
The rockets fired at the Ain al-Asad base in Anbar province and a base in Erbil early on Wednesday came amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran following the US killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq last week. Iran had pledged severe retailiation.
Here are all of the latest updates as of Wednesday, January 8:
Iraqi oil facilities secure: OPEC
Iraqi oil facilities are secured and the country’s production is continuing, OPEC’s Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo.
“It’s a big relief that the facilities continue to be secured in Iraq, the production is continuing and effective,” Barkindo said on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi.
He said he was optimistic Iraq would reach 100 percent compliance with OPEC cuts in time, despite current tensions.
In a message to US President Donald Trump, Barkindo said the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) alone could not shoulder the responsibility of maintaining a stable oil market.
Britain condemns attack on military bases
Britain condemned the attacks on military bases in Iraq that hosted US-led coalition forces including British personnel.
“We condemn this attack on Iraqi military bases hosting Coalition – including British – forces,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.
“We urge Iran not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation.”
Emirates Airline cancels Baghdad flight
Dubai-based Emirates Airline cancelled a return flight to Baghdad.
“We are carefully monitoring the developments and are in close contact with the relevant government authorities with regards to our flight operations, and will make further operational changes if required,” Emirates said in a statement.
Its sister carrier, FlyDubai, also cancelled a flight to Baghdad.
Iran’s president to deliver speech
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will deliver a speech on Wednesday, Iranian state television reported.
No Iraqi casualties in 22-missile attack overnight: military
The Iraqi military said in a statement that 22 missiles were launched on the Ain al-Asad air base and a base in Erbil between 1:45am and 2:15am, but there were no casualties among Iraqi forces.
It said two of the 17 missiles targeting Ain al-Asad base did not go off.
The five on Erbil all targeted coalition headquarters.
Norway says none of its troops injured or killed
No Norwegian troops were injured or killed in the attack on the Al-Asad air base in Iraq, a Norwegian military spokesman told Reuters news agency.
The country has about 70 soldiers at the base, said Brynjar Stordal at Norway’s military headquarters.
Denmark says none of its soldiers wounded or killed
The Danish armed forces said in a Twitter post none of its soldiers were wounded or killed in the missile strike on the Al-Asad airbase.
Denmark has about 130 soldiers at the base as part of the international coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) armed group.
80 ‘US terrorists’ killed in attack: Iranian state TV
Iranian state television claimed that at least 80 “American terrorists” were killed in attacks involving 15 missiles Tehran launched on US targets in Iraq, adding that none of the missiles were intercepted. The claim could not be independently verified and the state television did not provide evidence of how it obtained that information.
Citing a senior Revolutionary Guards Corps source, the state television also said Iran had 100 other targets in the region in its sights if Washington took any retaliatory measures.
It also said US helicopters and military equipment were “severely damaged”.
India issues travel warning on Iraq
India issued a travel warning asking its citizens to avoid “non-essential” travel to Iraq.
“In view of the prevailing situation in Iraq, Indian nationals are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to Iraq until further notification,” India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“Indian nationals residing in Iraq are advised to be alert and may avoid travel within Iraq,” it said, adding that the Indian embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Erbil remain operational.
Pakistan warns citizens to ‘exercise maximum caution’
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Pakistan citizens planning to visit Iraq to “exercise maximum caution”.
Those already in Iraq are advised to remain in close contact with Pakistan’s embassy in Baghdad.
IRGC threatens attacks on Dubai and Haifa if Washington retaliates
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) warned on their Telegram channel that in the event that Iranian soil is bombed, they would launch a third wave of attacks to destroy Dubai and Haifa.
Japan urges diplomacy after Iran missile attack
Japan urged a return to diplomacy and called on governments to do their utmost to help ease tensions following the Iranian missile attack at bases in Iraq used by US forces.
Japanese Chief Cabinet spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the government would “coordinate with the related governments to collect intelligence while we ensure the safety of Japanese citizens in the region.”
“Japan will also urge all related nations to do their utmost diplomatic effort to improve the relations,” he added.
US security posture in UAE unchanged after Iraq attacks – official
The United States has maintained its security posture in key ally the United Arab Emirates, a spokesperson from the US embassy said.
“The US security posture in the UAE has not changed,” the spokesperson told Reuters.
Oil surges, stocks fall after Iran attack
Oil prices surged after the Iran attack on US forces in Iraq, raising the prospect of a regional conflagration that could disrupt oil supplies. Stocks fell sharply.
Brent crude futures soared $1.83, or 2.7 percent, to $70.10 by about 01:48 GMT, after earlier rising to $71.75, the highest since mid-September 2019.
The price of gold also shot higher, rising 1.91 percent on the spot market to $1,603.93 per ounce ($30,161.88 per gramme) as investors rushed for safe-haven investments.
“We’ve moved on from how Iran will respond to now anticipating the US 52-pronged response as the US military forces in the region are in a heightened state of alert while likely preparing for war,” said Stephen Innes, strategist at AxiTrader. “It’s not going to be pretty today.”
Read more here.
Philippines to evacuate citizens from Iraq
The Philippines has ordered a mandatory evacuation of Filipinos in Iraq, its foreign ministry said on Wednesday following the attack on US forces there.
“The Alert Level in the entire Iraq has been raised to Alert Level 4 calling for mandatory evacuation,” said Eduardo Mendez, a spokesman at the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Iranian official warns any US retaliation will lead to regional war
Any US retaliation to Iran’s missile attacks on American targets in Iraq could lead to an all-out war in the Middle East, an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted on Wednesday.
“Any adverse military action by the US will be met with an all out war across the region. The Saudis, however, could take a different path – they could have total peace!” Hessameddin Ashena said in a statement on Twitter.
Trump tweets ‘all is well’
Following the attacks, Trump said “all is well” and he will be making a statement on Wednesday morning local time.
“All is well!” Trump tweeted. “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.”
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020
Zarif: Iran took proportionate measures in self-defence
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that Iran took what it considered to be proportionate measures and does not seek an escalation of war.
“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,” Zarif tweeted.
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.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 8, 2020
Iran has buried the top Revolutionary Guard general killed by a US airstrike in Baghdad.
The burial of Qassem Soleimani came after a stampede at his funeral killed 56 and Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing American troops in response to his assassination.
Officials lowered the shroud-wrapped remains of Soleimani into the ground in the southeastern city of Kerman just before 6am Wednesday local time.
Australian PM says all personnel in Iraq safe
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said all of the country’s diplomatic and military personnel stationed in Iraq were safe, after Iran launched missile attacks on US bases there.
Speaking to reporters from a bushfire-ravaged island in southern Australia, Morrison said the situation in Iraq was very fluid and he was receiving constant updates.
Morrison said he would be returning to the capital, Canberra, later on Wednesday to meet with defence chiefs and the relevant ministers.
Pompeo briefs Kurdistan PM Barzani on Iran missile attacks
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Iran’s missile attacks on two Iraqi military bases, including in Erbil, the State Department said in a statement.
“The Secretary and Prime Minister Barzani agreed to stay in close touch as the situation develops,” the statement said.
IRGC commander says missile attacks ‘first step’: State TV
Iran’s missile attacks on US targets in Iraq was the first step and Tehran will not spare American troops, Iranian state TV quoted a Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander as saying.
“The missile attacks today were just the first step (US President Donald) should think about withdrawing its troops from the region and not to leave them within our reach,” Iranian state TV quoted the commander as saying, without naming him.
US official: Very few if any casualties from Iranian attack on sites in Iraq
There have been very few casualties, if any, from the Iranian attacks on sites hosting US forces in Iraq, a US official told the Associated Press news agency.
Iran’s telecommunications minister: ‘Get the hell out of our region’
Following Wednesday’s attacks, Iranian telecommunication minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted: “Get the hell out of our region!”
Get the hell out of our region!#HardRevenge🇮🇷🇮🇶
— MJ Azari Jahromi (@azarijahromi) January 8, 2020
Biden: I’m holding off on making a comment
Joe Biden, the former US vice president and a frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic presidential race, tweeted he was going to hold off on making a comment on Wednesday’s strike.
“I’m going to hold off on commenting on the news tonight until we know more, but there is one thing I will say: Jill and I are keeping our troops and Americans overseas in our prayers. We hope you’ll keep them in yours,” Biden tweeted.
I’m going to hold off on commenting on the news tonight until we know more, but there is one thing I will say: Jill and I are keeping our troops and Americans overseas in our prayers. We hope you’ll keep them in yours.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 8, 2020
US FAA bans airlines from flying over Iraq, Iran
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it would ban US carriers from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, the Gulf of Oman and the waters between Iran and Saudi Arabia after Iran launched a missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq.
Trump unlikely to immediately make televised address: reports
US President Donald Trump is unlikely to address the US on Tuesday night local time, US media said following reports he was preparing to give a televised speech.
What war powers does Trump have?
Under the US Constitution, authority to direct military action is divided between Congress and the president.
Congress has the power to declare war while the president, as commander in chief, has power to use the military to defend the US.
From the beginning, presidents and Congress have disputed over whether presidents have constitutional authority to send forces into hostilities abroad without congressional authorisation, according to a history of the law prepared by the Congressional Research Service.
Read more here.
Iran used surface-to-surface missiles: Fars
Iran used Fateh-313 surface-to-surface missiles to hit Ain al-Asad airbase, Iran’s semi-officials Fars news agency reported.
Trump to address US
US President Donald Trump is expected to address the US Tuesday night local time.
Iran starts ‘second round’ of attacks against US bases in Iraq: Tasnim
Iran has started its “second round” of attacks against bases holding US troops in Iraq, the Tehran-based Tasnim news agency said on Wednesday.
The second round of attacks started an hour after the first phase took place, the agency reported.
Pelosi: America and world cannot afford war
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted she was following the events in Iraq.
“Closely monitoring the situation following bombings targeting U.S. troops in Iraq,” Pelosi said. “We must ensure the safety of our servicemembers, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence. America & world cannot afford war.”
Closely monitoring the situation following bombings targeting U.S. troops in Iraq. We must ensure the safety of our servicemembers, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence. America & world cannot afford war.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 8, 2020
Democrats were angered over US President Donald Trump decision to order the killing of Soleimani without consulting Congress.
House Democrats are preparing to vote later this week on a War Powers Resolution aimed at limited Trump’s actions in Iran.
Trump may address US following attacks on US forces: reports
US media reported the White House is making plans for a possible address by US President Donald Trump following the attacks against US forces in Iraq. Al Jazeera has not independently confirmed those reports.
Iran threatens to attack Israel and US allies
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned US regional allies, including Israel, that they will be attacked if their countries are used for attacks against Tehran, Iranian state media said.
White House: Trump briefed on attacks on US forces in Iraq
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said US President Donald Trump has been briefed and is monitoring the situation in Iraq.
“We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq,” Grisham tweeted. “The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”
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.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) January 7, 2020
Pompeo and Esper arrive the White House
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have arrived at the White House following the attacks on US forces in Iraq.
IRGC: Rockets in revenge of Soleimani killing
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed it fired rockets at US forces in Iraq in revenge for the killing of Soleimani.
Iran threatens ‘more crushing responses’ if fresh US attack: State TV
Tehran has threatened “more crushing responses” if the US retaliates for Wednesday’s rocket attack, Iranian state TV said.
Pentagon confirms rockets fired at two Iraqi bases hosting US troops
Tehran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles from Iranian territory against at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US-led coalition personnel, the Pentagon confirmed.
“We are working on initial battle damage assessments,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in statement, adding that the bases targeted were at Ain al-Asad air base and another in Erbil, Iraq.
Attacks underway on multiple locations in Iraq: US official
The US believes there have been potentially multiple attacks on locations in Iraq, including the Ain al-Asad airbase that hosts US forces, a US official told Reuters, without providing additional information.
Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, had confirmed to Reuters earlier that a rocket attack had taken place against Ain al-Asad airbase, but did not confirm other sites.
US official confirms airstrikes at Iraq’s Ain al-Asad air base housing US troops
US official confirms to the Associated Press news agency that airstrikes were carried out at Iraq’s Ain Asad air base housing US troops.
Iran fires rockets at Iraq base housing US troops
Iran has fired more than a dozen rockets at Iraq’s Ain al-Asad military base, which houses US troops, Iraqi sources told Al Jazeera.
“We have had not had any reports of casualties or damage,” Al Jazeera’s Osama bin Javaid said, reporting from Baghdad.
The rockets come less than a week after the US killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.
Iran had vowed severe retaliation.
Source: Al Jazeera