TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader said a “slap in the face” was delivered to the United States, when the Islamic republic fired missiles at US troop bases in Iraq on Wednesday.
“Last night, a slap in the face was delivered,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech broadcast live on state television.
His remarks came after he had vowed “severe revenge” for a US drone strike that killed one of Iran’s top military commanders near Baghdad international airport last week.
22 missiles hit bases
A total of 22 missiles struck two bases housing US troops in Iraq but there were no Iraqi casualties, the military in Baghdad said after the overnight attack.
The statement made no mention of Iran, which claimed that it had fired ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Asad airbase in retaliation for the US killing of a top Iranian general.
“Between 1:45 am and 2:15 am (2245 GMT and 2315 GMT) Iraq was hit by 22 missiles, 17 on the Ain al-Asad air base and … five on the city of Arbil,” the Iraqi military said.
“There were no victims among the Iraqi forces,” it added, but did not mention whether or not there were casualties among foreign troops.
Ain al-Asad is the largest airbase where US-led coalition troops are based.
Ain Assad airbase is located in Iraq’s western Anbar province is a large hub for U.S. forces in Iraq.
American forces first uses the base after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
The base, a sprawling complex about 110 miles houses about 1,500 members of the U.S. military and coalition forces.
In December 2018, Donald Trump visited Ain al-Asad air base making his first presidential visit to troops in the region