By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur
ANKARA (AA) - Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) targeted Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq, a facility jointly operated by U.S. and Iraqi forces, with tens of missiles Wednesday.
"In Operation Martyr Soleimani in the early hours of Wednesday, tens of ground-to-ground missiles were fired at the U.S. base and successfully pounded Ain al-Asad Base," the IRGC said in an official statement.
"This shelling of U.S. bases is merely the beginning of a series of revenge attacks with no deadline for when it ends," it added.
There are no reports of casualties so far.
The U.S. military confirmed that six missiles have made an impact.
Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps' elite Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. drone strike outside Baghdad airport early Friday.
His death marked a dramatic escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which have often been at a fever pitch since President Donald Trump chose in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw Washington from a 2015 nuclear pact world powers struck with Tehran.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who bestowed the country's highest honor on Soleimani last year, vowed "severe retaliation" in response to his killing.
Trump said Saturday that if any Iranian retaliation strikes American targets or interests “we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"
Concerns have mounted that should the U.S. strike Iranian cultural sites, that would be a war crime under international law. But Trump has been undeterred, reiterating the threat Sunday.
“They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way,” he said.