يمكنكم الآن متابعة آخر الأخبار مجاناً من خلال تطبيق تلغرام
إضغط هنا للإشتراك
As reports are slowly surfacing of US casualties following Iran’s retaliatory airstrike against US military interests in Iraq earlier this January, Washington is keeping mum, sticking to previous reports by US President Donald Trump that all is in fact “well”.
"While no US service members were killed in the Jan. 8 Iranian attack on Al Assad Air base, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed," the US-led military coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria said in a statement Thursday.
"Out of an abundance of caution, service members were transported from Al Assad Air Base, Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for follow-on screening. When deemed fit for duty, the service members are expected to return to Iraq following screening," the statement added.
With more contradicting reports and information circulating on social media over the true breadth and reach of Iran’s attack against the US military, Iran came out with a widely different version of events, alleging its military claimed the lives of over 100 US soldiers - a move it said, was meant to avenge the death of the commander in chief of the elite’s Quds Units: General Qassem Soleimani.
General Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike as he was travelling to Baghdad to meet with state officials at the express invitation of caretaker prime minister Adil Abdul Mahdi early this January. His death drew broad criticism across the region, nowhere more so than in Iraq and in Iran, where the man was held a hero against Islamic radicalism.
High ranking officials in Tehran (Iran) have confirmed under cover of anonymity this Friday that the Leadership’s office is set to release key materials to the press, proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that America has lied to not only its people, but the world regarding the extent of Iran’s retaliatory attack against its interests in Iraq.
An official in-house statement issued by the office of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Iran’s military command posit that over a hundred US soldiers were killed in Iraq, and that casualties had to be airlifted to neighbouring Israel and Kuwait for emergency treatment.
So far US officials have categorically denied such allegations, arguing that Iran is only trying to score political points at home now that it faces public anger over the downing of a civilian plane by its military.
The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800, travelling to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv was downed amid escalating tensions between Iran and the US. There were no survivors. All 176 passengers were killed in the crash, prompting outcries of anger in both Iran and across the international community.
Caught in a wave of mass protest over the tragedy, Iran has looked to shore up public support by redirecting public interest towards what the government views as its existential fight against “the Great Satan” aka the United States of America.
Speaking in exclusive comments to Elaph, high ranking military officials in Tehran confirmed that Iran’s latest strike against America crippled Washington’s military capability in Iraq quite substantially - a show of force they say was meant as a reminder of the Islamic Republic’s military might and its determination to defend its sovereignty come what may.
According to their understanding of events the US military command had to organize an emergency en masse evacuation of all of its personnel across Iraq to Ain Al Assad’s base in Al Anbar province – western Iraq, in the face of Iran’s aggression earlier this January.
The move then led Iran’s military to concentrate its firepower on Al Assad’s base in view of exerting maximum pressure against the United States, and disable its main military outpost in Iraq.
Tehran now alleges that its airstrike all but devastated US positions, leaving but rubble and burning military equipment behind.
As early as January 7th, on the day of the attack, reports circulated in Iranian media outlets of devastating US losses: “An informed source at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said over 80 American troops were killed and some 200 wounded in the IRGC’s missile strikes on the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq,” Mehr News reported.
Mehr, which is owned by the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization, a branch of the Iranian government, credited the report to IRIB – the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Iran’s public broadcaster whose head is appointed directly by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“According to the accurate reports of our sources in this area, at least 80 American troops were killed and some 200 others were wounded, who were immediately transferred out of the airbase by helicopters,” Mehr News further wrote.
Today, Tehran claims that as many as 143 military personnel were killed and 538 were injured in the missile attack.
Officials in Tehran have confirmed to Elaph that videos and further evidence will soon be made available to the public.
Ayatollah Khameini who led the nation’s weekly prayer for the first time in eight years was emphatic about the America’s lies, adding that the Iranian missile strikes in Iraq were a "slap on the face" to the US - a move which is likely to irk officials in Washington, notwithstanding President Trump himself.
If the world avoided an all-out war only a week ago, it appears that both Iran and the US are still very much engaged in a collision course - high on the agenda: Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Since Iran unleashed a barrage of missiles against US positions in Iraq, the Islamic Republic has announced it no longer feels bound to the terms of the JCPOA (nuclear agreement), which agreement US President Donald Trump reneged on early in his presidency on account he claimed it failed to address America’s interests.
Iran President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised address this week: “We are enriching more uranium before the deal was reached … Pressure has increased on Iran but we continue to progress.”
Hinting on what may come should the White House step out of line Rouhani added: “A single bullet can cause a war, and not shooting a single bullet can lead to peace,” adding that his administration was seeking greater security.
Should Iran’s claims that it took the lives of 143 US soldiers prove true, Washington is likely to retaliate with more than warnings of further sanctions… in hindsight, President Trump’s tweet that “all is well” may have been an overreach, especially in view of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s comment last week that the initial assessment found only damage to property.
"The current (Battle Damage Assessment) is, if you will, again, we can get you details, things like tentage, taxiways, the parking lot, a damaged helicopter, things like that; nothing that I would describe as major, at least as I note at this point in time. So that's the state of -- of the attack at this point as we know it. Most importantly, no casualties, no friendly casualties, whether they are US, coalition, contractor, etc..”