The body of the General arrived in his hometown on Tuesday, after four days after millions-strong funeral processions in several Iraqi and Iranian cities, but it took nearly a day to rest him in peace due to the overwhelming crowds rushing to his funeral ceremony in Kerman.
Hours before General Soleimani was buried, the IRGC Aerospace Force embarked on ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a US operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the assassination of IRGC Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
Following the attack, IRGC Spokesman General Ramezan Sharif informed the crowd in the burial ceremony of the attack, and said, “The US Ein Al-Assad airbase and a second base in Erbil in Iraq came under attack at 1:20 am (local time), the same hour that they committed that huge crime.”
He said Americans rushed to hold an emergency meeting with much perplexity. “First they declared that Trump would have a speech, but they called it off moments later. Sure they have received the message.”
The spokesman vowed that the IRGC and Resistance groups would continue General Soleimani’s path and “would not miss any chance to strike at aggressors”.
The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hossein Baqeri warned that any reciprocal attack by the US would be met with a more powerful response.
“Any type of new devlish attack by the US would receive a a more crushing and more decisive response,” he said.
“It is time for the evil leaders of the United States to pull their terrorist army forces out of the region,” the Major General warned.
Iran’s Government Spokesman Ali Rebiee also tweeted his support and appreciation for the IRGC’s “successful operation”.
“Legitimate response has been given to the very same place where the attack [on General Soleimani] had been launched,” he wrote, adding that Iran has never been willing for war, “but any other aggression would be reciprocated by a harsher and more crushing response”.
Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council and former IRGC top commander Mohsen Rezayee also tweeted minutes later “we first started revenge with tens of missiles and then laid my brother to rest”.
Ein Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels, which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad have failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles. Unofficial reports said the US army’s central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.
The second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a US military base near Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of “Martyr Soleimani” reprisal operation.
All flights have been cancelled at Erbil airport.
Iraq said the attacks have not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases. The US army had blocked entrance into Ein Al-Assad to everyone, including the Iraqi army.
This is the first direct attack on the US army ever since world war two.
IRGC officials said none of the missiles had been intercepted.
Following the attack, the IRGC issued a statement immediately after the attacks, declaring that it has fired tens of ground-to-ground missiles at “the airbase occupied by the terrorist and aggressive army of the United States known as Ein Al-Assad” in reprisal for the martyrdom of IRGC Qods Force Commaner Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
The IRGC warned the US to avoid retaliating the Wednesday attack or else “it will face a more painful and crushing response”.
The IRGC Statement also warned “all the US allied states where the terrorist army has a base, any territory that becomes the origin of any hostile and aggressive action against the Islamic Republic of Iran in any way will be targeted”.
“We believe that the Zionist regime by no means stands aside from the criminal US regime in these crimes.”
The IRGC also called on the American nation to pressure the White House to pull their troops out of the region to avoid further damage and not allow the US rulers to endager the lives of their military men through increasing hatred.
All Iranian underground missile towns are on alert.
Lieutenant General Soleimani was martyred in a targeted assassination attack by the US drones at Baghdad International Airport early on Friday morning.
The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shaabi. The two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.
Five Iranian and five Iraqi militaries were martyred by missiles fired by the US drone at Baghdad International Airport.
The attack came amid tensions that started by the US attack on PMF units that killed 28 Iraqi popular forces. A day later, Iraqi people attacked the US embassy in Baghdad.
The targeted assassination attack represents a dramatic escalation by the US toward Iran after months of tensions. The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the US from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor.