Iran's missiles target USA forces in Iraq; Trump Says 'All Good'

Andrew Cummings
January 13, 2020

Iraqi officials on Monday backed away from their threat to expel USA troops following the killing of Iranian terrorist mastermind Gen. Qasem Soleimani and some important Iraqi Shiite militia leaders.

A statement read: "We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted". "While the closure of the Strait of Hormuz remains a very unlikely event, the deterioration in Iraq bears supply risks", said Norbert Rucker, head of economics at Swiss bank Julius Baer.

The missile strikes happened a few hours after crowds in Iran mourned Gen Soleimani at his funeral.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq stock indexes hit record highs after Trump's remarks and crude prices slumped, with USA benchmark West Texas Intermediate posting a 10% slide from a peak following the Iranian attack to after Trump spoke.

By late morning in Asia, however, equities had trimmed losses, the yen had stabilized somewhat and US bonds tempered their rally as investors paused for breath, and as a USA official said the United States was not aware of any casualties from the strikes.

The US says it is ready to take part in "serious negotiations" with Iran, after the country fired missiles on American troops at two military bases in the country of Iraq.

He said: "As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend USA personnel, partners, and allies in the region".

Iranian state television claimed that the strikes on bases in Iraq killed 80 Americans, in a report citing what it called an informed Revolutionary Guards source, but this has not yet been independently verified. It did not provide evidence of how it obtained that information.

Germany, Denmark, Norway, Poland and Canada have announced none of their troops in Iraq were hurt in the attack.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday condemned Iran's missile attacks, and voiced concern over "reports of casualties" from the strikes. Iraq said its forces did not suffer casualties.

"As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners and allies in the region", said Jonathan Hoffman, an assistant to the U.S. defence secretary.

The Iraqi military said it sustained no casualties in 22 missile strikes on bases housing USA troops. Iran, which has long said United States forces should leave the Middle East, told Washington after the attacks to withdraw its troops to prevent more deaths and warned U.S. allies including Israel not to allow attacks from their territories.

This now puts Iraq in a hard position as it considers itself an ally of both Iran and the US.

Iranian television reported an official in the supreme leader's office as saying the missile attacks were the "weakest" of several retaliation scenarios.

US stocks ended lower on Tuesday as Wall Street continued to weigh the geopolitical risks after a USA airstrike killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, on Friday.

"I think we should expect that they will retaliate in some way, shape or form", he told a briefing at the Pentagon.

Iran's missile attacks on US targets in Iraq on Wednesday were "legitimate self-defense", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told state TV, adding that Washington's assessment to retaliate should not be based on "illusions".

Other reports by iNewsToday