An Iranian regime-run media outlet claimed that more than 80 Americans were killed in an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps missile strike on US forces in Iraq early Wednesday, the Times of Israel reported.
“An informed source at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said over 80 American troops were killed and some 200 wounded in the IRGC’s missile strikes on the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq,” Mehr News reported on Wednesday.
The US said Wednesday that while damage assessments were still underway, there were no reports of US casualties from the strike. The Iraqi army, too, said Wednesday that no Iraqi soldiers were hurt in the assault, which followed the US killing on Friday of one of the IRGC’s top commanders, Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani.
Mehr, which is owned by the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization, a branch of the Iranian government, credited the report to “IRIB,” or the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Iran’s public broadcaster whose head is appointed directly by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“According to the accurate reports of our sources in this area, at least 80 American troops were killed and some 200 others were wounded, who were immediately transferred out of the airbase by helicopters,” the source was quoted as saying, apparently to explain the lack of any images of bodies despite the purportedly high death toll.
The source said up to 20 “critical points” on the base were struck by 15 missiles, destroying “a significant number” of US drones and helicopters.
The Iraqi military’s assessment on Wednesday said 17 missiles were fired at Al-Asad, two of which reportedly failed to explode on impact, while another five were fired at the city of Irbil in the country’s Kurdish-majority northeast.
“Despite the fact that Americans had been on high alert, their air defense was unable to respond,” the source was quoted by Mehr News as saying, warning that “As many as 104 critical points in the US’ positions in the region have been identified, which would be destroyed upon the US’ first mistake.”
Shortly after the rocket barrage, US President Donald Trump insisted “All is well!” on Twitter, and promised to make a statement to the nation Wednesday morning about the increasingly precarious situation with Iran.
Trump offered no immediate indication of whether he would retaliate, and stayed out of sight as news of the missile strikes emerged.
But he tweeted that an assessment of casualties and damages was under way. The initial outlook, he said, was “So far, so good!”