Iranian state television claimed that Wednesday missile strikes on bases in Iraq killed 80 Americans, in a report citing what it called an informed Revolutionary Guards source.
Iran launched 22 missiles overnight at the Iraqi bases used by US and other US-led coalition troops, the Iraqi army said.
“At least 80 American military (personnel) were killed in this attack,” the state television website reported.
In addition, it said, unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters and other military equipment had been severely damaged in the attack.
The Revolutionary Guards source said at least 140 targets of the US and their allies had been identified in the region and would be attacked “if the Americans commit any kind of mistake again”.
The source said 15 missiles hit Ain Al-Assad base and none was intercepted by “radars of America’s terrorist army”.
It was the first action of Iran’s promised revenge for the US killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Iraq last week.
Operation Martyr Soleimani: Iran issues statement after strike on US bases in Iraq, threatens US’ allies
Iran struck military bases used by US forces in Iraq on Wednesday to avenge the assassination last week of top military commander Qasem Soleimani.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps said “Operation Martyr Soleimani” was in response to “the criminal and terrorist operation of the American invaders and to avenge the cowardly assassination and painful martyrdom of the heroic leader” of the elite Quds Force.
It said it “fired dozens of ground-to-ground missiles at the invading air base of the terrorist army of the American aggressor… Ain al-Assad, and crushed this base”.
The statement partly stated thus:
“The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps wishes to congratulate the community of believers of Islam for this great victory and inform them and the great and devoted people of Islamic Iran that:
1. We warn the Great Satan, the vicious and arrogant American regime, that any new malicious act or movement of aggression will be met with even more painful and devastating responses.
2. We warn the allied governments of the United States which have provided bases for the terrorist army of that country that any territory used in any way as a base for hostile and aggressive acts against the Islamic Republic of Iran will be targeted.
3. We do not consider in any way that the Zionist regime is dissociated from the United States in (responsibility for) these crimes.
4. We advise the American people to recall American troops in the region in order to avoid further losses and not to allow the lives of its soldiers to be further threatened by the ever-increasing hatred that the American regime, with its hatred of any people, is stirring up against it.”