By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur
ANKARA (AA) - Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said Wednesday that it targeted Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq, a facility jointly operated by U.S. and Iraqi forces, with ‘tens of missiles’.
"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 said.
"We warn all allied countries of the U.S. that if attacks are launched from bases in their countries on Iran, they will be a target of military retaliation," it added.
A second wave of missile attacks against American forces in Iraq has begun, Iran’s Tasnim News Agency announced.
Iran's Fars news agency called the firing of the missiles at Ain al-Asad airbase a "hard revenge" in a Twitter post.
There are no reports of casualties so far.
The U.S. military confirmed that six missiles had made an impact.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said: "We are aware of the reports of attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq. The president has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team."
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.