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Iran fires ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq

Iran fires ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq

Iran has fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation for America's assassination of Qassem Soleimani.

Iran fires ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq

At least two airbases have been hit in Irbil and Al-Assad, according to the US Department of Defense.

US President Donald Trump has confirmed no Americans were harmed in the strikes.

It comes after Trump ordered the assassination of Iran’s top general Soleimani, who was killed in a drone strike near Baghdad airport on Friday.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard announced the attack was in retaliation for the death of Soleimani.

In a statement carried by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, the Revolutionary Guard said, “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.”

US Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman released a statement saying that the bases “have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region”.

“As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend US personnel, partners and allies in the region,” said the statement.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said President Trump “has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team”.

NZ Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters has confirmed Camp Taji, which houses Australian and New Zealand troops, has not been hit.

He said all New Zealand personnel are “as safe as they can be in these developing circumstances”.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed all Australian troops and diplomatic staff stationed in Iraq are currently safe.

The death of Major General Soleimani has dramatically escalated tensions between Iran and the United States.

Soleimani was a figure widely respected within the Iranian leadership and seen as very important government official.

His funeral saw millions of people attend, and marked the first time Iran honoured one man with a multi-city ceremony.

Soleimani was the head of the Quds Force which is part of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

The Quds Force played a role in stoking regional conflicts, carrying out operations external to Iran to defend the country’s Islamic system.

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