By Hunter Walker and Sean D. Naylor Correspondents
WASHINGTON — Iran launched attacks on U.S. military bases in Iraq on Tuesday evening in apparent retaliation for the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, which was ordered by President Trump.
According to a statement from the Department of Defense, the attacks began at approximately 5:30 p.m. EST.
“Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Asad and Irbil,” the statement said.
The Defense Department said it is “working on initial battle damage assessments.”
As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners and allies in the region,” the statement said. “Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we will continue to provide updates as they become available.”
Press TV, an Iranian state television station, reported the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps struck the Al-Asad Air Base with “tens of missiles.” The channel framed the strike as retaliation for the Jan. 3 killing of Soleimani.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told Yahoo News President Trump was “monitoring” the situation.
“We are aware of the reports of attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq. The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team,” Grisham said.
A spokesperson for U.S. Central Command, which runs military operations in the Middle East, declined to provide any details.
“We’re aware of the reporting, and we’re still looking into it,” said the spokesman, who declined to give his name when contacted at 6:45 pm on Tuesday.
Soleimani was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq last Friday. Trump has said the decision to kill the high-ranking Iranian general came as a result of an imminent threat to U.S. troops in the region.