Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army General Mark A. Milley, the U.S. militarys top uniformed official, said that while Irans missile attack on Wednesday didnt result in any casualties, he believes it was intended to kill U.S. personnel and cause significant damage at the al-Asad airbase.
Iran on Wednesday fired a barrage of missiles at two Iraqi military bases—Al Asad airbase in Anbar province and Erbil in the Kurdish autonomous region—both of which host American forces, in an apparent response to the recent killing of Irans top military general Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 2 that was ordered by President Donald Trump.
Speaking to reporters at a Pentagon briefing, Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper appeared to dismiss suggestions that Iran did not intend to kill Americans with its missiles, reported Military.com. Both also indicated that it is uncertain whether Iran would carry out additional attacks and that professional intelligence analysts are working on a final assessment of the latest strikes from Iran.
Esper said that he believes the missiles “were intentional, given what was hit—the aim points,” the news outlet reported.
Meanwhile, Milley noted the missiles had 1,000 to 2,000-pound warheads on them, each with significant explosive power and “kill radius,” Reuters reported.
“The points of impact were close enough to personnel and equipment … that I believe, based on what I saw and what I know, is that they were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and equipment and aircraft, and to kill personnel. Thats my own personal assessment,” Milley said. “But the analytics is in the hands of professional intelligence analysts. So theyre looking at that.”
Milley noted that bases like al-Asad have scatter plans, bunkers, and protective gear to help protect forces that come under attack. He commended the military commanders on the ground for taking actions that ensured the safety of the troops.
Esper said that Iran launched a total of 16 ballistic missiles from three locations in Iran into Iraq, four of which failed in flight.
According to the Pentagon, at least 11 of the 16 missiles hit the Al Asad Air Base about 175 miles from the Iraq-Iran border, while at least one hit a military installation near Irbil, some 60 miles from the border with Iran. Both locations held American and coalition forces, including from the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Canada.
Esper and Milleys understandings of the strikes as relayed to reporters on Wednesday stood in contrast with a number of news reports earlier that day that suggested Iran “calibrated” its attack with the intention to cause minimal harm to American troops.
Trump on Thursday morning said in a televised address from the White House that Americans should be “extremely grateful and happy” that no Americans were harmed in the attack.
“We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases,” Trump said.
“Our great American forces are prepared Read More – Source