Iran Launches Missile Strikes Against US Airbase in Western Iraq

US F-35s seen taking of from UAE

Breaking News: Check for further updates as available

10:50 PM ET: Analysts are suggesting Iran’s targeting at Ayn al-Asad was done so as to avoid casualties, trying to do enough damage to show its ability to retaliate without provoking further attacks.

Iran’s strikes also targeted Anbar Province and Iraqi Kurdistan, both non-Shi’ite parts of Iraq, which may have been done to minimize the risk of Shi’ite casualties.

10:30 PM ET: Tweets from President Trump and Iranian FM Javad Zarif are suggesting a deescalation of the situation following the Iranian strikes. Zarif says Iran considers what they did “proportionate” to what the US did, and Trump is saying that “all is well.”

9:55 PM ET Iran says their retaliation is finished, and that they will stop attacking so long as the US doesn’t attack them anymore.

9:10 PM ET The FAA has banned all flights over Iraq and Iran for the time being, citing concern of misunderstandings. Analysts say this will be rough on regional providers, who are already coping with restrictions in Saudi Arabia and Qatar over the acrimony between those two.

8:40 PM ET President Trump is not intending to address the situation tonight.

8:05 PM ET Fox is claiming no casualties. This cannot be confirmed. Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has issued statements any US retaliation would lead to more retaliation from them. They added that Israel would be a possible target.

7:50 PM ET: A second round of missiles reportedly launched. This may be the strikes in Irbil. Camp Taji was also reportedly hit, no confirmation yet.

Iran suggests US forces should be withdrawn from Iraq.

7:40 PM ET: US F-35 planes took off from a base in UAE. Iran reportedly warns the UAE will be attacked if American aircraft from there strike Iran.

7:35 PM ET: The Pentagon is confirming casualties among Iraqis at Ayn al-Asad airbase. No numbers yet, and damage assessment is still ongoing.

7:15 PM ET: Reports out of the Pentagon say that something in Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, was targeted as well. No word on what. The White House has confirmed that they are “aware of the reports.”

Reports are that Iran fired the missiles from Kermanshah, a Western city not far from the Iraqi border.

7:00 PM ET: Iranian forces have fired surface-to-surface ballistic missiles at the Ayn al-Asad airbase in western Iraq. The base has a substantial US military presence and is seen as retaliation for last week’s US assassination of a top Iranian general.

Iran’s Fars New Agency released a video of the missile firing, calling it “hard revenge” against the US. There are no details yet on the amount of damage done, or any casualties.

US military officials are said to have confirmed six missiles hit the base, while others, including Iraq’s PMU, reported as many as 13 missiles involved. Iran’s state media said “tens of missiles” were fired.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.