After days of waiting, Iran has finally responded to the killing of its top covert operations general with a mass ballistic missile attack against U.S. bases in Iraq and Jordan.

On Tuesday night, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Corps (IRGC), an elite branch of the Iranian military, unleashed dozens of missiles targeting three U.S. bases in Iraq (Camp Taji, Al Assad airbase, and Erbil airbase) and a joint base in Jordan (Muwaffaq Salti Air Base).

No casualties have been reported, but the bomb assessment is still ongoing.

In a tweet, President Trump said “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and [best] equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”

Iran’s missile capabilities. (Image courtesy of the Center for Strategic & International Studies

The Iranian attack came in response to the U.S. targeted strike against Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of IRGC’s Quds Force, a combination of the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister, said in a statement that “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base[s] from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched. We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”

Iran chose probably the best retaliation option. Tehran had to respond so it wouldn’t lose face, but it couldn’t respond in proportion for it would mean further U.S. retaliation. The Mullahs of Iran have gotten their satisfaction on the cheap. Yet that doesn’t mean that the Quds Force won’t be looking for soft-targets to strike.

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