Iran fires missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq
Iran has hit back at the U.S. for the killing of a top Iranian commander. The Pentagon says Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military targets in Iraq early Wednesday (January 8). State TV showed what they say are rockets streaming through the sky and footage of explosions and panic as missiles hit what's believed to be Ain Al Asad air base in Iraq. It hosts U.S. and coalition forces. The Pantagon says its clear the missiles were fired from Iran and another base in the Iraqi city of Erbil was also a target. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard confirmed the missiles were retaliation for last week's U.S. drone strike on Qassem Soleimani. In a statement, they also advised the U.S. to pull troops out of the region to avoid more deaths. The launches came just hours after Soleimani's funeral, whose killing had raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East. U.S. officials say President Donald Trump had been briefed on the attacks and is monitoring the situation. Hours early he'd said the U.S. was ready for Iranian action. "We're prepared, we're totally prepared. Likewise we're prepared to attack if we have to as retribution." Soon after Wednesday's pre-dawn strikes, an Iranian official posted his country's flag on Twitter, that mirrored a tweet from Trump, who had posted the American flag shortly after Soleimani's death. Prior to the launches, Trump's defense chief Mark Esper said the U.S. military had whatever comes next. "The United States is not seeking a war with Iran, but we are prepared to finish one."