Iran said some 80 US army personnel have been killed and nearly 200 more wounded in Wednesday missile attacks carried out in reprisal for the assassination of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
“Early estimates indicate heavy US casualties in Iran’s missile attack,” Iranian news agency Fars reported, quoting “an informed IRGC Intelligence Department”.
“According to the reports sent by our sources in the region to this moment, at least 80 US army personnel have been killed and around 200 others wounded,” he said, adding that the wounded have been evacuated from Ein Al-Assad on choppers.
There has been no report from the US on casualties, but President Donald Trump tweeted early today “so far so good”.
The Iranian intel officer said Ein Al-Assad airbase to the US is vital to the US military as and mentioned that the military center provided backup for US army drones.
“Some 20 sensitive points of this base were struck by 15 missiles, resulting in the destruction of a considerable number of drones and helicopters,” Fars News further quoted the intel source, adding that some of the targets were destroyed in a single strike because of the high-explosive power of the warheads and serial explosions.
The IRGC source further said that “a sum of 104 sensitive US positions in the region have been identified to immediately come under raid as soon as the Americans make the first mistake”.
The IRGC Aerospace Force started heavy ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a US operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the assassination of IRGC Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
Ein Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels, which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq.
Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad have failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles.
Unofficial reports said the US army’s central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.
The second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a US military base near Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of “Martyr Soleimani” reprisal operation.
All flights have been cancelled at Erbil airport.
Iraq said the attacks have not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases. The US army had blocked entrance into Ein Al-Assad to everyone, including the Iraqi army.
This is the first direct attack on the US army ever since world war two.
IRGC officials said none of the missiles had been intercepted.