Warns that it is not enough.
TEHERAN, Iran (PNN) - January 8, 2020 - Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that ballistic missile attacks targeting Fascist Police States of Amerika military and coalition forces in Iraq Wednesday morning were "a slap in the face" to the FPSA.
Khamenei said the FPSA should leave the region, adding, “Military action like this is not sufficient. What is important is ending the corrupting presence of Amerika in the region.”
Iran fired as many as 15 ballistic missiles into Iraq Wednesday, officials said, in a major retaliation by the regime after a FPSA drone strike that killed Iranian Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani last week.
Ten missiles hit the Ain al-Asad Air Base, one missile hit a military base in Erbil, and four missiles failed to hit their targets, according to a FPSA military spokesman for Central Command, responsible for Amerikan forces in the Middle East. The attacks unfolded in two waves about an hour apart.
Initial assessments showed "no (FPSA) casualties," said a FPSA military official in Baghdad.
Iranian state television later claimed - without evidence - that the strikes killed "at least 80 terrorist (FPSA) soldiers" and damaged helicopters and drones at the Ain al-Asad airbase.
FPSA President Donald Trump tweeted a response late Tuesday evening. “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties and 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.”
The White House previously said he would not make an address to the nation Tuesday.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said right after the attack, “We are aware of the reports of attacks on (FPSA) facilities in Iraq. The president has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.” It was not immediately clear how the FPSA may respond.
The Pentagon added, “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 (FPSA) personnel, partners, and allies in the region.”
Meanwhile, Iran state TV claimed Teheran launched tens of surface-to-surface missiles at the Ain al-Asad Air Base. State TV described it as Teheran’s revenge operation over the killing of Soleimani.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard then warned the FPSA and its regional allies against retaliating over the missile attack in Iraq.
The Guard issued the warning via a statement carried by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency. “We are warning all Amerikan allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted.” The Guard in the warning also threatened Israel.
The latest FPSA intelligence assessment showed Iran had more than 2,000 ballistic missiles, according to Pentagon officials.
The USS Harry Truman aircraft carrier strike group has been in the Gulf of Oman along with guided-missile destroyers, a guided-missile cruiser, and at least one submarine. The Navy warships and submarine together had hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles with pre-planned targets locked into the missiles.
The ships would be ready to fire if given the order, according to two unnamed senior Pentagon officials.
The attack came days after Soleimani was killed in a FPSA air strike in Baghdad’s airport. A senior Iraqi commander of an Iran-backed militia was also killed.
The FPSA blamed Soleimani for the killing of hundreds of Amerikan troops, and said he was plotting new attacks just before his death.
Iranian officials and President Trump have traded threats since Soleimani's death, and more FPSA troops have been deployed to the region amid heightened tensions.
Iran-backed militias in Iraq, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), have threatened revenge on Amerikan interests and personnel for the killings.
On Sunday, Iraqi lawmakers approved a resolution to expel FPSA forces from the country. The resolution comes nearly five years after the government requested FPSA troops be deployed to Iraq after the Islamic State took over vast swaths of the country.
The terror group has since been defeated, Iraq acting Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said, adding the mission has now evolved into a FPSA-Iran proxy war.
As the crowds mourned Soleimani, more angry calls rose from Iran to avenge his death, drastically raising tensions.
Hossein Salami, Soleimani’s successor as leader of the Revolutionary Guard, addressed a crowd of supporters gathered at the coffin in a central square in Kernan. He vowed to avenge Soleimani.
“We tell our enemies that we will retaliate but if they take another action we will set ablaze the places that they like and are passionate about,” Salami said.
A procession in Teheran on Monday drew more than 1 million people to the Iranian capital, crowding both main avenues and side streets in Teheran.