By Moon Of Alabama
January 08, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" -
Iran fired 22 Qiam missiles towards two U.S.
bases in Iraq. Between 1:45 and 2:15 local
time (~22:00 UTC) seventeen missiles hit the
Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi. Five
missiles were aimed at Erbil airport in the
northern Kurdish region of Iraq. There were
The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which
represents the U.S., was warned at least one
hour before the attack happened. Around 0:00
UTC the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which
prohibited civil U.S. flights over Iraq,
Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
This attack was the "open" and
"proportional" response for the U.S.
assassination of Major General Qassem
Soleimani which Iran's Supreme Leader Ali
Khamenei had promised. It will certainly not
be the only response but represents the
opening shot of a long and much more silent
campaign to kick the U.S. out of the Middle
U.S. President Donald Trump, who
had threatened to destroy 52 targets in
Iran including cultural sites if Iran would
take any revenge, seems to have understood
that this attack was intentionally limited
to avoid a larger war:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump -
2:45 UTC · Jan 8, 2020
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 well equipped
military anywhere in the world, by far!
I will be making a statement tomorrow
The Qiam missiles Iran launched are a
derivative of the Soviet Scud type. They are
liquid fueled with a warhead of about 700
kilogram. They have a range of some 800
kilometer. Iran has more capable and precise
solid fueled missiles it could have used.
The Ain al Assad airbase which was hit is
where the drones that killed Soleimani and
the Iraqi leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were
launched from. Erbil airport is the logistic
center for the U.S. forces in Syria.
Videos show the
launch and the
impact of the missiles.
No U.S. air or missile defense against
the incoming projectiles was observed.
The message from Iran is thus: "We can
attack all your bases and you can do nothing
to prevent that."
Iran's leader said that the attack was
"slap in the face" for the U.S. and that
this military reaction to the U.S. crime is
not the only one that will happen:
Ayatollah Khamenei addressed the nation
live on TV in a meeting with a large
group of people from Qom, in
commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of
the January 9, 1978 uprising in Qom
against the Pahlavi regime.
The live address also took place
hours after the Islamic Revolution
Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted the US
airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar
province in western Iraq after launching
a wave of attacks in early hours of
Wednesday to retaliate the US
assassination of IRGC Quds Force
commander, Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
“What is important in addition
to retaliation is that military
operations do not suffice. It is
important to end the US corrupting
presence in the region,” the Leader
“Americans are insisting on bringing
corruption and destruction into our dear
Iran. Talks of sitting down at the
negotiating table is a preface to
interventions, which must end. Regional
nations do not accept the US presence
and its meddling measures,” he added.
“The US enmity toward Iran is not
temporary; it’s inherent. It is a ‘gross
mistake’ to think if we took a step back
and comprised, the US would stop its
enmity,” he stressed.
Hours after Iran had launched the
missiles a Ukrainian airliner crashed three
minutes after it had taken off from Tehran
airport. All 176 people on board died. The
passengers were mostly from Iran, Canada and
the Ukraine. The airplane was a three years
old Boeing 737-800 NG operated by Ukrainian
International Airlines, the country's flag
shows the burning airliner coming down
on a glide path. Photos from the crash site
show shrapnel like impacts on the
fuselage. The evidence is consistent with an
uncontained turbine disc rupture but other
potential causes can not be ruled out. The
incident will be investigated like all other
The Iranian military revenge was less
intensive then I had expected. But it was
also a clear sign that Iran is capable and
willing to openly attack U.S. bases in the
larger area. The missile attack came despite
Donald Trump's threats to Iran. It called
Further reactions will depend on the U.S.
reactions to the demand of the Iraqi
parliament that all foreign forces leave
Iraq. Should the U.S. leave Iraq peacefully
all will be well. Should it insist on
staying U.S. soldiers will die.
Update - 17:00 UTC
Additional information has come in which
corrects or adds to some of the above made
The 17 missiles launched against Ain al
Assad airbase were of the Qiam-2 type which
is an updated version of the original Qiam
with a guided warhead and much better
accuracy. The missiles launched towards
Erbil airport were solid fueled Fateh 313
missiles which have a 500 kilometer range
and additional anti-interception devices.
Damage pictures of Ain al-Assad airbase
show that the hits were well targeted and
Trump confirmed that there were no U.S.
casualties. The situation is thereby
de-escalating as the U.S. will now stand
down. Trump called the damage on the base
"minimal" even while several airplane/drone
hangers were obviously hit and completely
destroyed with everything they contained.
Iran must have had very good intelligence
about the site. Trump also lauded an early
warning system that, he said, prevented
casualties. The Swiss embassy in Tehran will
have a good laugh at that comment.
Higher quality daylight pictures of the
crashed Ukrainian plane
show that at least some of the "shrapnel
impact holes" are not holes at all but are
debris or dirt lying on top of the aircraft
Additional pictures also show no
evidence of an externally induced event.
The Flight Data Recorders of the airplane
were found. Iran will download the data from
them or, if it does not have that
capability, will ask some other country
(France?, Germany?) to do so. A preliminary
accident report will be published after one