Reports Of Failed Missiles, Satellite Photos Emerge After Iran's Tuesday Attack
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Topline: The day after Iran’s missile attacks on two U.S. bases in Iraq, various reports suggest that several of the projectiles failed, and a satellite image appears to show damage to one of the bases, but military analysts say the Middle Eastern country’s weapons are becoming more sophisticated over time.
- According to the Military Times, this satellite photo shows damage done to multiple structures from tend ballistic missiles launched toward al-Asad airbase.
- The Wall Street Journal reported that a lieutenant on the ground at al-Asad counted nine explosions during the attack.
- At least four of Iran’s missiles failed, according to the Journal and the Military Times, with both citing unnamed U.S. defense officials.
- The Military Times also reported that three incoming missiles were intercepted by Patriot batteries, which are used by troops to protect themselves by shooting missiles out of the sky.
- Those some missiles failed, Iran has greatly improved its ability over the past decade to make effective weapons, according to the Washington Post, which cited military analysts.
- According to Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, Tuesday night’s attacks “concluded proportionate measures” the country took in retaliation for the killing of its top military leader, Qassem Soleimani, adding “we do not seek escalation or war.”
What we don’t know: What kind of ballistic missiles Iran used. The Military Times cited two potential types, the Shahab 1 and Qiam, with respective ranges of 190 to 500 miles.
Big number: 1,200 miles. That’s the range on some of Iran’s newer missiles, according to the Post.
Key background: As Iran and the U.S. appear to be backing down from mutual threats of retaliation following Soleimani’s killing, the two countries will likely continue their strained relationship that began with Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposition of sanctions. Tensions escalated further last week when Trump ordered the air strike that killed Soleimani, a prominent military leader in the country who has assisted and funded a network of proxy militias, including Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran retaliated with Tuesday night’s missile attacks. Trump’s Wednesday morning address, however, seemed to ease off any upcoming retaliation.
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