RNA – Addressing a large and fervent congregation of the people attending Friday prayer in Tehran, Hujjat al-Islam Mohammad-Javad Haj-Ali-Akbari said, “Iran’s promised ‘severe revenge’ on the United States over the assassination of General Qasem Soleymani has just started.”
He reiterated that from now on, American interests across the world will be posed to extensive threats, and said, “This American regime has numerous military bases; from now on, having too many bases, especially in this region, won’t be an advantage for them.”
General Soleymani, the Commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force, was martyred in a targeted assassination attack by the American drones at Baghdad International Airport early on Friday morning, according to Fars News Agency.
The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.
Five Iranian and five Iraqi militaries were martyred by missiles fired by an American drone at Baghdad International Airport.
The attack came amid tensions that started by the American attack on PMF units that killed 28 Iraqi popular forces. A day later, Iraqi people attacked the American embassy in Baghdad.
The targeted assassination attack represents a dramatic escalation by the American toward Iran after months of tensions. The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the United States from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor.
On Wednesday, the IRGC Aerospace Force launched heavy ballistic missile attacks on the United States’ Ayn al-Asad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a American operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the assassination of General Soleymani.
Ayn al-Asad is an airbase with a 4 kilometre runway at 188 metres above sea level, which is the main and the largest American airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ayn al-Asad had failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles.
Unofficial reports said the American army’s central radar systems at Ayn al-Asad had been jammed by electronic warfare.
Some 80 American army personnel were killed and nearly 200 more wounded in Iran’s Wednesday missile attacks, informed sources said.
The second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a American military base near Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of “Martyr Soleymani” reprisal operation.
All flights were cancelled at Erbil airport.
Iraq said the attacks had not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases. The American army had blocked entrance into Ayn al-Asad to everyone, including the Iraqi army.
It was the first direct attack on the American army ever since WWII.
IRGC officials said none of the missiles had been intercepted.
Following the attack, the IRGC issued a statement immediately after the attacks, declaring that it had fired tens of ground-to-ground missiles at “the airbase occupied by the terrorist and aggressive army of the United States known as Ayn al-Asad” in reprisal for the martyrdom of General Qasem Soleymani.
The IRGC warned the United States to avoid retaliating the Wednesday attack or else “it will face a more painful and crushing response.”
The IRGC Statement also warned “all the American allied states where the terrorist army has a base, any territory that becomes the origin of any hostile and aggressive action against the Islamic Republic of Iran in any way will be targeted”.
“We believe that the Zionist regime by no means stands aside from the criminal American regime in these crimes.”
The IRGC also called on the American nation to pressure the White House to pull their troops out of the region to avoid further damage and not allow the American rulers to endanger the lives of their military men through increasing hatred.
All Iranian underground missile towns were on alert.
The missile attack came hours before the body of General Soleymani was laid to rest.