By Tom Kool
In what appears to be its first retaliation strike, Iran has claimed to have fired tens of ground-to-ground rockets at the Ain al-Assad military base in Iraq.
Reuters and AFP news agencies cite a U.S. official that confirms the strike, but also says that there’s no information yet on casualties or damage. Additional reports came in that a military base in Erbil, in the Kurdish part of Iraq has also been struck by ballistic missiles.
Major Iranian news agency ISNA reported early on Wednesday morning that “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,”
The attacks come shortly after the Iranian clerical leadership vowed retaliation, with spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei suggesting the Islamic Republic would strike against U.S. forces in the region. According to a report from the New York Times, Khamenei showed up to a meeting of Iran’s National Security Council and laid down the conditions for a response to the slaying of Qassem Soleimani.
The oil market responded immediately with WTI jumping 4% before falling back slightly.