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08 Jan 2020 | 12:56 AM UTC

Iraq: No casualties reported following Iranian missile strikes January 8 /update 14

No casualties have been reported after Iran conducted missile strikes targeting US forces in Erbil and the Ain Al-Asad Air Base on January 8; situation remains fluid

security
IRQ

Event

Iraqi military officials announced at approximately 09:30 (local time) on Wednesday, January 8, that no casualties have been reported following missile attacks conducted by Iran earlier in the morning. According to a statement from the military, 22 missiles were fired into Iraq between 01:30 and 02:15 targeting US forces at the Ain Al-Asad Air Base (Anbar province) and in Erbil (Kurdistan region). US and other coalition forces said that their personnel did not experience any casualties from the strikes. Damage assessments are still being conducted at the Ain Al-Asad Air Base.

Following the initial air strikes, Iranian state TV claimed Tehran fired "tens" of surface-to-surface missiles at the base as revenge for the January 3 killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani. Iranian media sources also later claimed that a second round of missiles has been fired but the reports are unconfirmed. Details are still emerging.

Additional Iranian attacks targeting facilities hosting US forces are possible over the near term; retaliatory US strikes are also possible on Iranian state and proxy targets in the region over the coming days.

Context

The US Department of Defense released a statement on January 3 claiming responsibility for an airstrike targeting and killing Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport (BGW) the same day. According to the statement, Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." Notably, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), was also killed in the strike. The situation remains fluid.

Advice

Individuals in Iraq are advised to closely monitor developments, avoid the affected area and related demonstration sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.