Iran claims 80 US nationals killed in missile attacks

TEHRAN, Oct. 22, 2019 (Xinhua) — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during the international conference on “Unilateralism and International Law” in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 21, 2019. Zarif said on Monday that the United States has created tension in the Middle East region, official IRNA news agency reported. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua/IANS)

ANKARA (Rahnuma) In ballistic missile attacks on Iraqi military bases early Wednesday, 80 U.S. citizens were killed, according to Iranian state-run television.

The claim came after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq.

The missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases where U.S. military and coalition personnel are stationed, at Al-Asad and Erbil, said Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman in a statement.

The Pentagon said it was assessing whether any U.S. troops had been killed or injured in the attacks, but gave no immediate indications of casualties.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Tehran had “concluded proportionate measures” in response to the U.S. killing of the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, last week, adding that Tehran is not looking for a war with the U.S.

Today’s attacks continued a series of tit-for-tat recriminations between the U.S. and Iranian-backed forces that began with the killing of an American contractor at a U.S. base in Iraq late last month.

The U.S. retaliated with airstrikes on the Iran-backed militia it says is responsible for conducting the attack, killing dozens. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was then attacked last Tuesday by a group of enraged militiamen and demonstrators.

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