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Thursday, January 9, 2020

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

U.S. Lawmakers Divided After Being Briefed On The Iran Crisis

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 11:26 PM PST

Defense News: Dems, GOP divided after Iran briefing from Trump administration officials

WASHINGTON ― The U.S. and Iran stepped back from the brink of possible war Wednesday, but some lawmakers were left with questions about the administration's strategy toward Iran and whether or not the U.S. is safer for having killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed the House and Senate behind closed doors on Wednesday, lawmakers split on partisan lines over whether their concerns about Iran and the president's actions were addressed.

"Without commenting on content, my reaction to this briefing was it was sophomoric and utterly unconvincing, and I believe more than ever that Congress needs to act to protect the Constitution's provisions about war and peace," said Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly, who serves on the House committees on Oversight and Government Reform, and Foreign Affairs.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It is moments like this that I have trouble understanding what Congress is thinking. Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani is someone who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. troops, and the wounding of thousands more. Congress should be applauding and cheering his demise, not complaining that the US intelligence that was provided in Wednesday's briefing was not convincing enough to prove that he was an imminent threat. Is his background and history coupled with his designation as a terrorist enough to justify being targeted by US forces? Apparently not.

Update: Why am I not surprised .... Meghan McCain Has To Ask Warren Three Times To Admit Soleimani Was A Terrorist (Daily Caller).

Update: Here is the next Congress - White House battle ....  Trump, Democrats set for brawl on Iran war powers (The Hill)

More News On U.S. Lawmakers Divided After Being Briefed on The Iran Crisis

Democrats 'utterly unpersuaded' by evidence behind Soleimani strike -- The Hill
'The worst briefing I've had': Senate Iran briefing gets heated -- CNN
"Probably the worst briefing I've seen": Inside the disastrous congressional Iran meeting -- VOX
Rand Paul, Mike Lee rip administration over 'insulting and demeaning' Iran briefing -- The Hill
Sen. Mike Lee explains outburst after 'worst military briefing': Officials had 'flippant attitude' toward lawmakers -- FOX News
Trump administration briefing on Iran angers Republican senators, boosts effort to restrict presidential power -- Yahoo News

A Look At The Missiles That Iran Fired Into Iraq

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 10:47 PM PST

Defense One: What We Know About the Missiles Iran Fired Into Iraq

To begin with, they're getting more accurate.

Iran has improved the accuracy and maneuverability of its missiles, like the ones fired Tuesday at military installations in Iraq housing U.S. and coalition troops, in part with foreign help.

New guidance systems have increased the lethality of Iran's missiles, including the short-range Fateh that appears to have been used in the attacks. But many unknowns remain.

"We don't have a real good, high-fidelity count of the number of missiles that Iran has," said Michael Elleman, director of the Nonproliferation and Nuclear Policy Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Ellerman estimates that Iran has between 200 and 300 Scud missiles and about 100 Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missiles.

"Once you get beyond 100, it probably doesn't matter because they have a limited number of launchers and launch crews," he said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The "experts" are not impressed .... PHOTOS: First images of 'dud' Iranian missile in Erbil reveal impotent attack (Washington Examiner).

Poll: 47 Percent Approve Of President Trump's Strike On Soleimani

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 10:39 PM PST

Burning debris seen on a road near Baghdad International Airport, which Iraqi paramilitary groups say were caused by three rockets, on January 3, 2020. Iraqi Security Media Cell via Reuters

The Hill: Poll: 47 percent approve of Trump strike on Soleimani

Nearly half of American voters approve of President Trump's decision to order the airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran's elite Quds Force, according to a new Morning Consult poll.

The survey, which was released on Wednesday but conducted before Iran responded to the strike by firing rockets at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops, found that 47 percent of American voters supported Trump's move to authorize a drone strike on Soleimani outside the Baghdad airport last week. Forty percent of voters said they opposed the decision, while 14 percent said they did not have an opinion.

The opinions divided strongly along with partisan lines, with 70 percent of Democrats opposing the airstrike and 85 percent of Republicans supporting it. Sixty-one percent of Republican respondents said they strongly approved Trump's decision.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I expected a higher number.

Update: I have trouble believing this .... 75% Of US Registered Voters Can't Identify Iran On A Map (Zero Hedge). Please tell me this is wrong.

U.N. Investigators Find Yemen's Houthis Did Not Carry Out Saudi Oil Attack In September

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 10:26 PM PST

Smoke is seen following a fire at Aramco facility in the eastern city of Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

Reuters: Exclusive: U.N. investigators find Yemen's Houthis did not carry out Saudi oil attack

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Yemen's Houthi group did not launch an attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities in September, according to a confidential report by U.N. sanctions monitors seen by Reuters on Wednesday, bolstering a U.S. accusation that Iran was responsible.

The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for the Sept. 14 attack on the Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) oil plants in Abqaiq and Khurais, dismissing a quick claim of responsibility by the Iran-allied Houthis. Tehran denied any involvement.

The report by the independent U.N. experts to the Security Council Yemen sanctions committee said, "That despite their claims to the contrary, the Houthi forces did not launch the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais on 14 September 2019."

The findings of the U.N. report come amid escalating tensions in the region after the United States killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad and Tehran retaliated by firing missiles at military facilities housing U.S. troops in Iraq.

Read more ....

Update: UN monitor reportedly says Houthis not responsible for attack on Saudi oil facilities (Middle East Eye)

WNU Editor: Everyone knows who was responsible for this attack (i.e. Iran).

What Are Iranians Outside Of Iran Saying About The Death Of Soleimani

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 10:11 PM PST

Iranian President Rouhani and Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Qasem Soleimani. Iran Project

Dan Truitt, American Thinker: Ask an Iranian

I saw my Iranian refugee friend Kaveh in church this morning and asked him what he thought of the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

"I'm a little unhappy with it," he said. "My wife's unhappy, too. So are our parents in Teheran."


"Because he didn't suffer."

"You're a Christian, right?"


"Trust me, brother, he's suffering," I said.

I'm an ex-pat living next door to the Middle East, and I don't think most Americans understand what a significant historic event this is. Most Iranians are completely fed up with the oppressive reign of the mullahs, and most Middle East countries are completely fed up with the organized terrorism being exported by Iran, which has been destabilizing the region for the last four decades.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Montreal has a large Iranian community and I am lucky to know one of them as a good friend. To say that he was overjoyed when he heard that Soleimani was killed in a drone strike is an understatement.

This Iranian Refugee Now Commands A U.S. Aircraft Carrier

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 09:56 PM PST

Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh in his office aboard the USS Harry S. Truman at Norfolk Naval Station in August. Credit...Sarah Holm/The Virginian-Pilot

New York Times: He Fled Iran as a Child. Now He's Commanding a U.S. Aircraft Carrier.

The aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman could play a role in any military conflict with Iran. Leading its crew is Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, who fled Iran during the revolution.

As a child, Kavon Hakimzadeh fled the Islamic Revolution in Iran with his family and found refuge in small-town Mississippi. Now, 40 years later, he is back in the Persian Gulf region, this time as the commander of the United States aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, which with tensions rising over the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani could play a role in any confrontation with his former homeland.

For many Iranian-Americans like Captain Hakimzadeh who serve in the United States armed forces, the oppression and turmoil of the Iranian Revolution cultivated an appreciation for the liberty that the United States military vows to uphold and defend, and inspired many to enlist.

"I think it is probably a lot to do with why I decided I wanted to serve and wanted to be in this line of work," Captain Hakimzadeh told The Virginian-Pilot in an interview when he took command in August.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is a great interview with Captain Kavon Hakimzadeh here .... This aircraft carrier skipper fled Iran as a child. Now he's preparing to deploy amid heightened tensions.

Influential Iraqi Shi’ite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr Says Crisis Over, Tells Militias To Stand Down

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 09:47 PM PST

Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Reuters

Reuters: Iraq's Sadr says crisis over, tells militias to stand down: statement

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Influential Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Wednesday the crisis Iraq was experiencing is over following de-escalation rhetoric from both Iran and the U.S. and called on militia groups not to carry out attacks.

A new strong Iraqi government able to protect the nation's sovereignty and independence should be formed in the next 15 days and usher in an early election, the populist cleric said in a statement, adding that Iraqis should still seek to expel foreign troops, however.

"I call on the Iraqi factions to be deliberate, patient, and not to start military actions, and to shut down the extremist voices of some rogue elements until all political, parliamentary and international methods have been exhausted," he said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This Iraqi Shiite cleric has a lot of influence. If he says stand down, many will.

U.S. Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff: 'Iran Launched Ballistic Missiles Intending To Kill'

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 03:31 PM PST

Satellite images show damage to hangars and buildings in what appears to be a series of precision missile strikes launched by Iran. Planet Labs Inc./Middlebury Institute

Military Times: Milley says Iran launched ballistic missiles intending to kill

The Pentagon's top military adviser believes that when Iran launched missiles at two Iraqi coalition bases on Tuesday night, they were looking for casualties.

Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Wednesday at the Pentagon that it's his assessment Iran missed its intended targets at the Al Asad and Erbil air bases, contradicting reports that the victimless strike was meant to make a point but offer Iran a chance to deescalate tensions.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: As I had mentioned in a previous post, some of these Iranian missiles successfully hit their targets .... Satellite Photos Reveal Extent Of Damage From Iranian Strike On U.S. - Iraq Air Base In Iraq.

Rockets Strike Baghdad's Green Zone Including One That Came Within 100 Yards Of The U.S. Embassy

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 03:17 PM PST

CNN: Two rockets land in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone

Two rockets landed inside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, home of the US Embassy in Iraq, on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Iraqi military.

The Iraqi joint military command told CNN in Baghdad that "two Katyusha rockets landed inside the Green Zone in Baghdad. No reports of casualties." The incident took place just after midnight local time.

The CNN team in Baghdad heard sirens from inside the Green Zone and two explosions. It was not immediately clear who had fired the rockets or where they were fired from.

The rockets landed a day after Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at Iraqi bases housing US troops. The attack on Tuesday from Iran did not cause any US or Iraqi casualties.

Read more ....

More News On This Evening's Rocket Attacks On Baghdad's Green Zone

Two rockets fall inside Baghdad's Green Zone -- Reuters
Multiple rockets strike Baghdad's Green Zone including one 'within 100 yards of US embassy' -- Daily Mail
Rockets land in Baghdad's Green Zone near US Embassy; no injuries reported -- ABC News
Two rockets reportedly hit Baghdad Green Zone a day after Iran missile attacks on US targets in Iraq -- CNBC
Two rockets hit Baghdad's Green Zone, no casualties -- Middle East Eye
Several rockets hit '100 meters away' from US embassy, cause fire in Baghdad's Green zone -- RT

Iraq's President And The Speaker Of The Parliament Have Denounced Iran's Missile Attack

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 03:22 PM PST

Al Jazeera: Iraqis denounce Iran missiles as 'violation of sovereignty'

Iraqis say Iran's targeting of US bases on Iraqi soil is an 'assault' and call on parties to move battlefield elsewhere.

Iran's missile attack on Iraqi military bases hosting US troops has raised questions over Iraq's sovereignty and reflected Tehran's deep-rooted influence over Baghdad.

Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi military bases early on Wednesday morning. The US Pentagon confirmed that the missiles hit the Ain al-Assad airbase in Anbar Province and a facility near Erbil's airport in northern Iraq.

The missile attacks were in retaliation for the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, leader of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp's (IRGC) Quds Force.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: From the Iraqi perspective, two of their bases were hit by Iran, even though the international media's focus is on the few US and coalition troops that are there. We should also not forget that much of the unrest and anti-government protests that have been rocking Iraq for the past four months are also directed at the Iranian presence in the country. You can take this to the bank. This attack is only going to fuel the anti-Iranian resentment that already exists there.

China Is Testing New Missiles That Can Carry Nuclear Weapons

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 02:31 PM PST

Daily Mail: China launches its nuclear-capable, hypersonic nuclear missile DF-26 which 'could reach US territory and sink aircraft carriers' in a military drill

* Beijing released rare footage of the missile being launched from a desert
* Reports claimed DF-26 could strike a warship 3,728 miles away at Mach 18
* The missile is said to be able to carry a four-megaton nuclear warhead
* It could reach Guam, a US territory 2,000 miles from the Chinese coast

China has released rare footage of its nuclear-capable, hypersonic missile DF-26 being launched during a military exercise.

The mighty weapon, commissioned to the People's Liberation Army in 2018, is able to reach US territory and destroy aircraft carriers, according to previous reports.

Beijing did not reveal the time or location of the exercise, but footage of the launch was recently released by the country's state broadcaster China Central Television Station.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Here are the other missiles that China is testing .... China is stepping up its nuclear missile development with a test of a weapon capable of hitting US mainland (Business Insider/SCMP). And here .... It Looks Like China Is Testing 2 Kinds of Hypersonic Missiles (National Interest).

More News On China Testing Its DF-26 Missile

Ni Hao, Washington: Video Allegedly Shows Chinese Nuclear-Capable Missile Launch Able to Reach US -- Sputnik
China launches hypersonic nuclear missile DF-26 which 'could reach US territory' in a terrifying military drill -- The SUN
China Shows Footage of Its Nuclear-Carrier Hypersonic DF-26 Missile -- Al Bawaba

President Trump Confirms That The U.S. Is Building Hypersonic Weapons

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 01:37 PM PST

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a statement about Iran flanked by U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Vice President Mike Pence and military leaders in the Grand Foyer at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Daily Mail: Donald Trump reveals U.S. is building HYPERSONIC weapons whose development was closely-guarded secret as he boasts of American military strength after Iranian strikes

  * The president touted the U.S. missile arsenal even as he said Iran was standing down
  * He called U.S. missiles 'big, powerful' and accurate
  * He said 'many' hypersonic missiles were under construction
  * Russia announced late last year it had deployed the super-fast weapons

President Donald Trump told the nation Wednesday the U.S. was developing 'many' super-fast hypersonic missiles as he brandished U.S. missile capabilities even as he said Iran 'appears to be standing down.'

Trump boasted of the U.S. missile arsenal hours after Iran launched as many as 20 ballistic missiles toward Iraqi airbases, including facilities that house U.S. personnel. But according to the Pentagon the launches failed to cause casualties and Iraq was given advanced warning.

'Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast,' Trump said during his speech to the nation from the Grand Foyer of the White House.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Regular readers of WNU  know this is nothing new. The US has been working on this technology for years, and Congress just endorsed the money for it .... Congress Endorses Hypersonic Weapons as Development Ramps Up (Air Force Magazine).

The Crash Of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 -- News Updates January 8, 2019

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 11:54 AM PST

Daily Mail: Iran claims Boeing crash that claimed 177 lives hours after missile attack on US base was caused by engine fire but REFUSES to hand over jet's black box

* The Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737 jet came down three minutes after take-off from Tehran today
* President Volodymyr Zelensky said there were no survivors among the 168 passengers and nine crew
* Ukraine's foreign ministry revealed there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and three Britons on flight PS752
* Iran said the engine had caught fire and video appeared to show the plane already on fire as it fell from the sky
* Ukrainian embassy in Iran initially said the crash had been caused by an engine failure but retracted the claim
* The plane was less than four years old and had been checked just two days earlier, the Ukrainian airline said
* It crashed hours after Iran attacked US bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani

Iran has blamed technical failure and an engine fire for a plane crash which killed 177 people near Tehran today, but is refusing to hand over the recovered black boxes to Boeing or the US.

The Boeing 737 jet came down just minutes after take-off from Imam Khomeini International Airport early this morning, hours after Iran launched missile strikes on US bases in Iraq in revenge for Qassem Solemani's death.

Three Britons and 63 Canadians were among the 168 passengers and nine crew on board the Ukrainian International Airlines flight to Kyiv. There were no survivors.

Iran is blaming 'technical difficulties' and says the pilot lost control after a fire struck one of the plane's engines, but said the crew had not reported an emergency and is refusing to say what will happen to the black boxes.

Video footage appeared to show the plane already burning in the night sky before it crashed, while pictures at the crash site showed the fuselage peppered with holes.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I concur with this analysis .... Tehran Plane Crash Appears To Be "A Shootdown Event," Experts Say (Zero Hedge). If it is eventually proven that this airliner was shot down, this is a huge PR disaster for the Iranian regime, and deservedly so.

For Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 this was too late .... British airways flight performed dramatic u-turn near Iraqi airspace after Iranian missile strike – as commercial airlines reroute flights amid fears 'they could be mistakenly shot down' (Daily Mail).

Update: Here is an easy prediction. Iran is not going to accommodate the Canadian Prime Minister .... Justin Trudeau vows to 'get answers' after Ukrainian passenger jet crash in Iran that killed 176, including 63 Canadians, as Tehran refuses to hand over jet's black box (Daily Mail).

The Crash Of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 -- News Updates January 8, 2019

Iran says it will not give black box from crashed airliner to Boeing -- The Guardian
Iran Refuses To Hand Over Crash Data, Stoking Speculation Plane Was Accidentally Shot Down -- Zero Hedge
Iran won't hand over black box to the US, as Boeing offers help after Ukrainian airliner crashes near Tehran -- RT
No survivors as Ukrainian Boeing plane crashes in Iran with 176 aboard -- Reuters
Iran plane crash: Ukraine International Airline jet crashes killing 176 -- BBC
Newlyweds and family of four among 63 Canadians killed in 'devastating' crash -- The Guardian
At least 63 Canadians dead in Iran plane crash -- AP
Iran crash: Ukraine Boeing with 176 onboard comes down near Tehran -- The Guardian
Airlines avoid Iranian airspace, cancel flights as Middle East tensions spike -- CNBC
Ukrainian Boeing 737 passenger plane crashes in Iran shortly after take-off, killing 176 people -- ABC News Online

President Trump Makes A Statement On Last Night's Iranian Missile Attack On US Forces In Iraq

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 11:34 AM PST

Daily Mail: Donald Trump blames Barack Obama for giving Iran the cash to buy missiles flung at U.S. bases-as he offers to 'embrace peace' and claims Tehran is 'standing down' but warns of 'hypersonic weapons' and 'lethal and fast' attacks

* President said Iran can choose peace but warned of new weaponry that's ready to strike
* He blamed the Obama administration for unfreezing $150 billion and delivering $1.5 billion in cash to jump-start a nuclear nonproliferation deal that has since fallen apart
* 'As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will never be be allowed have a nuclear weapon,' he vowed, even before saying 'Good morning'
* 'Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast,' he said, sending a warning in nearly the same breath as an olive branch
* 'Under construction are many hypersonic missiles,' he warned, standing amid a tableau of stern-faced military leaders
* Iran fired 22 ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing American troops early Wednesday local time
* Strikes are not thought to have killed any U.S. or Iraqi personnel, though extent of damage is being assessed
* Ayatollah Khamenei said U.S. was given a 'slap' but strikes alone are 'not enough' and wants troops kicked out
* There are still fears for U.S. troops after Iran-backed militias in Iraq threatened to carry out their own strikes

Donald Trump blamed Barack Obama on Wednesday for supplying Iran with the money to purchase a torrent of missiles fired at American military positions Tuesday night.

'The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,' he said, citing $150 billion in frozen assets that the previous president released and $1.5 billion flown by the U.S. to Tehran.

He began his speech to the world on Wednesday with a familiar ultimatum, even before saying 'Good morning.'

'As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will never be be allowed have a nuclear weapon,' he said.

And Trump backed up that vow with a threat:

'Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast,' he said, sending a warning in nearly the same breath as an olive branch.

'Under construction are many hypersonic missiles,' he warned, standing amid a tableau of stern-faced military leaders.

Minutes later he offered an olive branch, urging European nations to make 'a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place' and allows Iran to explore its 'untapped potential' as a mainstream trading partner.

'We want you to have a future, and a great future,' he told Iran's people, claiming its military 'appears to be standing down.'

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Only one thing went through my mind when I watched the above video. It is President Trump laying the groundwork for US forces to leave Iraq and Syria in the not to distant future..

More News On President Trump Making A Statement On Last Night's Iranian Missile Attack On US Forces In Iraq

US, Iran step back from brink; Trump says Iran stands down -- AP
Trump avoids escalating crisis, says Iran is 'standing down' -- Reuters
Trump says Iran 'appears to be standing down' -- France 24
Trump Backs Away from Further Military Conflict With Iran -- The New York Times
Trump says Iran 'appears to be standing down,' missile strikes resulted in no casualties -- FOX News
Trump: Iran 'standing down' after missile strikes -- BBC
Donald Trump responds to Iranian missile strikes with threat of new sanctions -- ABC News Online
Trump: 'The American people should be extremely grateful and happy' as Iran stands down after attack -- Yahoo News
Trump: US imposing new 'powerful' sanctions on Iran after strikes -- Al Jazeera
"Iran Appears To Be Standing Down" - Trump Signals Further Sanctions, NATO Engagement -- Zero Hedge
'No lives lost': Trump holds fire on 'big missiles,' talks peace after Iran's strikes on US bases in Iraq -- RT

U.S. Had A Heads-Up On The Iranian Missile Attack When The Iranian FM Informed The Iraqi PM That A Missile Launch Was Coming

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 11:47 AM PST

Daily Mail: Did US troops got a heads up of missile attack? Iraqi PM reveals Iran gave him a tip-off as US official says early detection system based 6,000 miles away in Maryland worked

* Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at the Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq and the Erbil base in Iraqi Kurdistan in the early hours of Wednesday local time
* US troops were able to scramble to cover after 'early warning system' triggered
* Meanwhile Iraqi PM said he received a call from Tehran about an imminent strike
* US National Security Agency's base at Fort Meade, Maryland, is devoted to such detection, using a range of satellites, radar and heat detection to gather data
* Pentagon reported no immediate casualties but searches continued last night

The Iraqi Prime Minister has revealed that Iran gave him a tip-off about last night's missile strikes while US troops were left to scramble to bunkers using warnings from America's advanced detection system.

Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at the Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq and the Erbil base in Iraqi Kurdistan in the early hours of Wednesday local time.

PM Adel Abdul Mahdi received a call from Tehran warning him an attack was imminent in retaliation for the US killing of its highest ranking general, his spokesman said.

It is not clear whether he relayed that information to the US, however, US troops were alerted to the danger using an 'early warning system,' an official revealed.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Iranian media is confirming reports that the Iranian Foreign Minister informed the Iraqi PM that the strike was coming .... Zarif: Iran informed Iraqi govt. of missile attack on US bases‎ (Press TV). More here .... Iran informed Iraq of missile attack on US bases: Zarif (Mehr News Agency). Since these were really Iraqi bases, once they were notified I am sure that the Americans were notified at the same time.

Update: Iran DELIBERATELY failed to hit US bases in Iraq with most of its missiles for fear of escalating conflict, intelligence sources reveal, as satellite images show minor damage (Daily Mail).


Tensions in the Middle East: Live -- Reuters
Live: France condemns Iran's missile strike against US forces in Iraq -- France 24
Iran Missile strikes On US Forces In Iraq: Live -- BBC
Trump says 'Iran appears to be standing down' following missile strikes – live -- The Guardian
Iran fires missiles at US targets in Iraq — live updates -- DW
Iran fires missiles at bases housing US troops in Iraq after Trump-ordered killing of Qassem Soleimani: As it happened -- ABC News Online
Iran fires missiles at US targets in Iraq: All the latest updates -- Al Jazeera

More News On Iraq's Missile Strikes Against US Forces In Iraq

US knew Iranian missiles were coming ahead of strike; Trump announces new sanctions -- USA Today
Iraqi PM received 'verbal message' from Iran about missile attack -- Al Jazeera
US military had advance warning of Iranian ballistic missile attack, officials say -- FOX News
Some administration officials believe Iran intentionally missed areas with Americans -- CNN
Iran launches missiles at Iraq airbases hosting US and coalition troops -- The Guardian
Iran launches missile attacks against US forces inside Iraq -- ABC News Online
Iranian missiles strike coalition installations in Iraq -- Al-Monitor
Pentagon: Iran launched 'more than a dozen' missiles at bases in Iraq housing US troops -- USA Today
Iran launches missile attacks on US facilities in Iraq -- Al Jazeera
Iranian ballistic missiles called Fateh-110 and Qiam-1 that blitzed US airbases can carry a 500lb warhead over a range of more than 180 miles -- Daily Mail
Where did Iran attack US forces in Iraq? -- Al Jazeera
Ain al-Asad, air base targeted by Iran, is a large hub for U.S. forces in Iraq -- NBC
Iran attacks: Which bases were targeted? -- BBC
Iraq's Al Asad and Erbil airbases have been struck by Iran. Here's what we know about them -- ABC News Online

Satellite Photos Reveal Extent Of Damage From Iranian Strike On U.S. - Iraq Air Base In Iraq

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 03:31 PM PST

Satellite images show damage to hangars and buildings in what appears to be a series of precision missile strikes launched by Iran. Planet Labs Inc./Middlebury Institute

Warzone/The Drive: Satellite Images Show The Aftermath Of Iran's Missile Strikes On Al Assad Air Base In Iraq

The photos show Iranian missiles damaged or destroyed a number of hangars and other aviation-related facilities at the U.S. occupied base Iraq.

Satellite imagery that The War Zone has obtained from Planet Labs shows damage to various hangars and other structures at Al Assad Air Base in Iraq following Iran's unprecedented missile strikes aimed at U.S. forces in that country overnight. U.S. and Iraqi officials have said that the strikes, which also involved missiles fired toward Erbil, the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region, caused minimal damage and no U.S., coalition, or Iraqi casualties.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Some missiles were on target.

Satellite Photos Reveal Extent Of Damage From Iranian Strike On U.S. - Iraq Air Base In Iraq

Satellite Photos Reveal Extent Of Damage From Iranian Strike On Air Base In Iraq -- NPR
Satellite images appear to show damage from Iranian missile strikes at Iraqi base -- CNN
Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq: Satellite photos show extensive damage caused by Iran's missile attack -- Press TV (Iran)
Satellite images of damage at U.S. base in Iraq may support theory Iran wasn't targeting people -- The Week

Iranian Reaction On Last Night's Attack Against U.S. Forces In Iraq

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 10:30 AM PST

Daily Mail: Ayatollah says damp squib revenge raid for Soleimani's assassination is 'not enough' after Iran ineffectually fires 22 ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq - but fails to kill anyone

* Iran fired 22 ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing American troops early Wednesday local time
* Strikes are not thought to have killed any US or Iraqi personnel, though extent of damage is being assessed
* Ayatollah said US was given a 'slap' but strikes alone are 'not enough' and called for troops to be kicked out
* There are still fears for US troops after Iran-backed militias in Iraq threatened to carry out their own strikes

Iran has finally launched what it promised would be a 'crushing revenge' strike against the US over the death of General Soleimani - but succeeded only in damaging two airbases in neighboring Iraq.

The country's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired 22 ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq and Erbil International airport in the north in the early hours of Wednesday, but failed to kill a single US or Iraqi solider, according to initial reports.

The attacks mark a significant escalation of tit-for-tat blows exchanged between the US, Iran and their allies since last summer - but falls far short of fatal strikes on commanders and troops that had been feared.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaking on Iranian TV shortly after the missiles were launched, described the strikes as 'a slap' and said they are 'are not sufficient (for revenge)'.

Read more ....

More News On Iranian Reaction To Last Night's Attack Against U.S. Forces In Iraq

Ayatollah Khamenei: Iran's retaliation against US only 'a slap' -- Press TV (Iran)
Iran's Khamenei says missile strike a 'slap in the face' for US -- Al Jazeera
Iranian leader calls missile attack a 'slap' at US bases -- AP
Leader: Military Reprisal Not Enough, US Should Leave Region -- FAHR News Agency
Military operations won't suffice; US corrupting presence in region must end: Leader -- MEHR News Agency (Iran)
Iran's Supreme Leader calls missile strike at bases a 'slap in the face,' warns it's not enough -- FOX News
Ayatollah Khamenei: US' Corruptive Presence in Region Must End -- Tasnim News Agency (Iran)
US can't evade consequences of assassinating Gen. Soleimani: Rouhani -- Mehr News Agency (Iran)
Iran President Describes US Eviction from Region as Main Revenge -- Tasnim News Agency (Iran)
President Rouhani: US to Leave Region after Assassination of General Soleimani -- FARS News Agency
IRGC: No missiles intercepted in attack on US bases, casualties reported -- Press TV (Iran)
US Army Sustains Heavy Casualties in Iran Missile Attacks -- FAHR News Agency
Over 80 killed in IRGC's missile strikes on US airbases in Iraq: Informed source -- MEHR News Agency (Iran)
Iranian state TV claims 80 'American terrorists' were killed in missile strikes on military bases in Iraq - but U.S. official insists there are no reports of casualties and says troops were able to hide in bunkers -- Daily Mail
Soleimani killing: Iran warns US against further retaliation -- Al Jazeera
Iran 'threatens to hit Israel and Dubai if the US retaliates over missile attack' -- Daily Mail
Iran's next responses will be proportionate to what US will do: Defense min. -- Press TV (Iran)

Stock Markets Soar Followed By Oil And Gold Prices Plunging After President Trump's Statement On Iran

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 09:04 AM PST

WNU Editor: And just like that, it never happened.

Hat tip Zero Hedge.

Iran's Foreign Minister Says It Has Concluded Its Response To U.S. Strike. Does Not Seek Escalation

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 08:58 AM PST

Daily Mail: 'We do not seek escalation or war': Iran's foreign minister says it has 'concluded' retaliation after Tehran targets US troops in missile attacks as Trump tweets 'all is well' and says he will deliver statement today

* Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif insists they do not want a war after firing a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops
* He tweeted that 'Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense'
* He warned that Iran did not 'seek escalation or war' but vowed to continue defending themselves if the U.S. chose to retaliate
* Firing of the missiles on Tuesday was a major escalation between Iran and the U.S. and raised immediate fears that the two were inching closer to war
* The response from the foreign minister is one of a few indicators that there might not be further retaliation on either side - at least in the short term
* It comes after President Donald Trump calmly tweeted on Tuesday night that 'all is well' shortly after the missile attacks

Iran's foreign minister has insisted they do not want a war despite firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops in a revenge attack for the U.S. drone strike that killed their top Iranian general.

Foreign minister Javad Zarif defended the missile strikes saying Iran 'took & concluded proportionate measures' and was only acting in 'self defense' when they struck back at the U.S.

But while Zarif suggested their retaliation was concluded, he warned that Iran did not 'seek escalation or war' but vowed to continue defending themselves if the U.S. chose to retaliate.

Read more ....

Update #1: Iran Says It Has Concluded Its Response To U.S. Strike, Does Not Seek Escalation (Newsweek)
Update #2: 'We do not seek escalation or war': Iranian foreign minister defends ballistic missile attack (Washington Examiner)

WNU Editor:We should treat everything that the Iranian foreign minister says with great deal of skepticism.

President Trump To Address The Nation On Iran Attacks At 11:00 EST

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 06:58 AM PST

CNN: Trump to address nation after Iran attacks Iraqi bases housing US troops in retaliation for Soleimani's death

ran fired a number of missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops Wednesday local time in retaliation for the American strike that killed a top Iranian general last week -- presenting President Donald Trump with the biggest test of his presidency to date.

Trump will deliver a statement on Iran from the White House at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning, the administration announced. Vice President Mike Pence will join Trump for his remarks.

The US has "100% accountability" of all its forces in Iraq, with no US casualties, according to a US defense official familiar with the latest assessment on Wednesday morning. The official added that there has been "no major damage" at either base.

There is a growing belief among administration officials that Iran deliberately missed areas populated by Americans, multiple administration officials told CNN on Wednesday.

Read more ....

Oil Tanker Operators Suspend Travel Through Strait Of Hormuz

Posted: 08 Jan 2020 06:48 AM PST

Zero Hedge: Tanker Operators Suspend Travel Through Strait Of Hormuz

Following Iran's decision to lob missiles at US-Iraqi bases last night, several major tanker operators have suspended sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, the site of several tanker attacks last year.

Petrobras, Bahri - Saudi Arabia's state-run tanker operator - and other tanker companies have suspended sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, WSJ reports, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Gulf officials are already trying to convince the world that there's nothing to worry about in what's essentially a tinderbox inside another tinderbox. United Arab Emirates' Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Wednesday he saw no immediate risk to oil passing through the critical gateway through which 20% of the global supply of crude travels. al-Mazrouei made the comments on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.

Read more ....

Update #1: Saudi tanker giant Bahri suspends transit through Strait of Hormuz – WSJ -- FX Street
Update #2: MARAD Renews Warning of Risks to U.S. Ships in Strait of Hormuz -- Maritime Executive

WNU Editor: If the Strait of Hormuz is shut down for any period of time, expect this .... Oil prices will climb above $100 a barrel if Iran blocks the Strait of Hormuz, analysts predict (CNBC).