Tehran, Jan 9, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) made a strong move on Wednesday morning and hit a big air base of a country whose president claims its military power is “by far” the strongest in the world.
The attack took place in reaction to the United States’ President Donald Trump’s directive to assassinate Iranian General Lieutenant-General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday. Nine other military men with records of fighting ISIS, al-Qaeda 7 al-Nusra, including Abu Mahdi al-Mohadis, the commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were killed. General Soleimani helped Syria and Iraq to eradicate the US-made terror group of Daesh (ISIS).
Soon after the incident, Trump claimed responsibility for the US extrajudicial terror attack.
Iranian people took to the streets in millions and chanted “Revenge,” and “Death to US” and “Death to Israel,” which showed that the late general was uniquely popular. The Iranian and the Iraqis embraced and welcomed their national heroes in funeral processions that went on for five days.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamanei, President Hassan Rouhani, and all the military commanders vowed “severe revenge” and to finally make the US forces leave West Asia. Hearing the cry of revenge, the Israeli prime minister said he has no idea what the US was supposed to do and the US president threatened if Iran makes a move, he will destroy 52 Iranian cultural sites.
His rash response was followed by a huge wave of criticism both inside and outside the US. But he insisted on that. Also, some other White House officials, maybe just out of loyalty, supported his remarks despite knowing that hitting cultural centers is, according to the international laws, a war crime. Trump’s words reminded many of what the ISIS did to Palmyra in Syria.
But finally, on Wednesday morning exactly at the hour General Soleimani was assassinated by the US, i.e. 1:20 a.m., Iran’s IRGC targeted Ain al-Assad Air Base in west of Baghdad with 17 missiles, which was the top news of almost all news agencies in the world. The missiles flew over two other US bases without being detected.
No US bases were attacked in the past 78 years.
Minutes after that the IRGC in a statement said that they have targeted the air base and said that if America makes another move, the retaliation would be far stronger than the first one. Also on Wednesday morning Ayatollah Khamenei called the attack “just a slap.”
Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif wrote in his Twitter account, "Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched."
"We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."
About 10 hours after the attack, Trump appeared in front of the press and issued a statement in a somber tone. He said that America is not going to take any more military moves and that the IRGC attacks has had no casualties. Though, he insisted to call Iran and General Soliemani terrorists. He defaulted on all his words and threats, which is worthy of attention.
He no longer had his usual Pharaoh-like arrogance. "The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it," Trump said. "We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent."
Now, the world is facing two totally different stories. Some media have said that about 80 American soldiers have been killed and more than 200 were injured in Iranian reciprocal action against two US airbases in Iraq, but now, the man who has received the hard blow, says there were no casualties.
What does Iran say about its attack? The IRGC did not, either before or after the attack, talk about casualties and killing soldiers. They just insisted on their goal as retaliation which is to kick the US out of the region.
In any case, as it turns out, Iran has the upper hand now.