Updates at bottom. – J.E.
Within the last three hours, Iran has launched “more than a dozen” missiles from Iranian territory at bases in Iraq where U.S. forces are or have been present.
This is according to a Pentagon update clarifying previous news and social media reporting. The initial Pentagon statement gave two bases as targets.
— 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐞𝐞 (@brian_schnee) January 8, 2020
So far, the missiles have landed at or near three bases: Al-Asad air base in Anbar Province, Irbil (the military facilities co-located with the international airport), and Camp Taji, just north of Baghdad. (Note: so far, the Pentagon is not including Taji in their tally of bases struck. See UPDATE 3 below.)
— Strategic Sentinel (@StratSentinel) January 8, 2020
There are no reports of casualties at this point. Please duly note: these are Iraqi bases. There are no “U.S. bases” in Iraq. The U.S. is hosted by Iraq at some of Iraq’s military bases. There are or have been other coalition contingents (e.g., UK) at Al-Asad; not sure if there are any still at Irbil. Reporting has indicated some national contingents pulling out of Iraq in the last few days.
It’s likely that most have been pulling and relocating forces, including the U.S. When I wrote about the infamous “poorly worded draft letter” on Monday, my going-in assumption was that we were removing troops (and probably civilians in Baghdad and elsewhere) from locations where Iran would probably target them.
Based on previous short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) launches by Iran at targets in Eastern Syria, the launch area was probably as depicted on the map, in extreme Western Iran near Kermanshah.
The president is said to be preparing to address the nation this evening (Tuesday).
— HARRISFAULKNER (@HARRISFAULKNER) January 8, 2020
I urge caution on all spot reporting about this. There are a lot of “reports” out there of things that make no sense or couldn’t happen. Iran has posted video supposedly showing “dozens” of missiles being launched at U.S. targets in Iraq, but Iran publishes so many misleadingly edited videos and video fakes that it’s not worth bothering with them. The Pentagon’s count of “more than a dozen” (Jennifer Griffin of Fox had it as just about a dozen, perhaps a few more, an hour ago) is more reliable.
Encouraging note to go out on for the moment:
Hearing no U.S. casualties so far and that missiles were shot down over Irbil…
— Michael P Pregent (@MPPregent) January 8, 2020
Although there have reportedly been Iraqi casualties. Nothing solid on where or how many.
In the interest of getting this posted, I will put it up as-is at this point.
*UPDATE*: Multiple news sites now saying Trump will not address the nation tonight. (Tuesday) This tells me Trump wants to continue having an atmosphere of uncertainty, one free of binding declarations, for at least the next 12-18 hours. That doesn’t mean nothing will happen, nor does it mean anything or everything could. (It means in part that Trump knows he’s under informational assault in everything he does, and that affects his timing in making communications, as well as other aspects of his comms posture.)
UPDATE 2: And now a word from POTUS.
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020
He mentions no (American) casualties, which is a relief.
UPDATE 3: Per the Daily Mail article linked from this tweet, the attack on Taji was by Katyusha rockets, which means they came from nearby (presumably Iran-backed PMF) and were not launched from Iran.
Trump says 'so far, so good' as casualties and damage are assessed after Iran fired barrage of ballistic missiles in operation 'Martyr Soleimani' at two US bases in Iraq including one he visited…https://t.co/V8IlfLkMlt
— Gabriel Foley 🎙️ (@gabrielfoley) January 8, 2020
That would be why the Pentagon is not including the Taji attack in the updates on the missiles launched from Iran.