Iran has fired more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi military bases hosting US troops, the Pentagon confirmed.
The missiles targeted the Ain al-Assad base in Anbar province and a facility near Erbil’s airport in northern Iraq early on Wednesday morning; they were fired in retaliation for the killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani by the US, Iran said.
US President Donald Trump said he would make a statement on the attacks on Wednesday morning in Washington, DC.
As tension increases, governments around the world are calling for a return to diplomacy and considering plans to withdraw their citizens.
Below are reactions from around the world.
Żaden z polskich żołnierzy w Iraku nie ucierpiał po atakach rakietowych na bazy Al Asad i Irbil. Jesteśmy w stałym kontakcie z dowódcą Polskiego Kontyngentu Wojskowego w Iraku.
— Mariusz Błaszczak (@mblaszczak) January 8, 2020
Translated:- “None of the Polish soldiers in Iraq were hurt in rocket attacks on Al-Asad and Erbil bases. We are in constant contact with the commander of the Polish Military Contingent in Iraq,”
Britain condemned Iranian missile attacks on military bases in Iraq that hosted US-led coalition forces including British personnel.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said
“We condemn this attack on Iraqi military bases hosting Coalition – including British – forces”
“We urge Iran not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation.”
Iraq’s military said there were no Iraqi casualties among its forces in Wednesday’s 22-missile attack on the two military installations.
The statement said
“Iraq was subjected between 1:45 and 2:45 this morning of 8 January 2020 to bombardment by 22 missiles; 17 missiles fell on Ain al-Asad air base including two that did not explode … and five on the city of Erbil that all fell on coalition headquarters. No casualties among Iraqi forces were recorded,”
Japan urged governments to do their utmost to help ease tensions following the missile strikes. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to call off a visit this weekend to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that his “government will coordinate with the related governments to collect intelligence while we ensure the safety of Japanese citizens in the region.
“Japan will also urge all related nations to do their utmost diplomatic effort to improve the relations,” he added.
Japan is sending a warship to the Gulf to help safeguard Japanese vessels and oil tankers traveling through the area.
Following the attacks, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said all his country’s troops and diplomatic staff in Iraq were safe.
Approximately 300 Australian defense personnel are stationed in Iraq.
Morrison said he had discussed the situation between the US and Iran with Trump on Tuesday during a call about the bushfires raging in Australia.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Morrison said in reference to Soleimani’s killing: “The United States has taken the action that they have to address what has been intelligence that they say they received, which was putting their interests at risk and under threat.”
India has advised its nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to Iraq until further notice.
Those already in the country have been told to be alert and avoid traveling around the country.
The Danish armed forces said in a post on Twitter that No Danish soldiers were injured or killed in Wednesday’s missile strike on the Al-Asad airbase in Iraq.
Denmark has about 130 soldiers at the base as part of the international coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.