Iran strikes back

Iran retaliated against the United States last night for the termination of Qassem Soleimani with extreme prejudice. From inside Iran it fired some 15 ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. forces — one in Erbil in northern Iraq and the large Al Asad base in western Iraq. One missile hit the base in Erbil (apparently four missed); ten hit the Al Asad base. No U.S. or Iraqi casualties are reported at either site.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Iran’s IRGC urged the American people to demand their troops be withdrawn from the region, warning in a statement that “any further aggression will be met with a more painful and crushing response.” The Dems can take it from there as they seek to foment hysteria and aggravate Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameni commented: “Last night, they were given one slap,” he said in a speech in the Qom broadcast live on state television. “Such military actions are not enough as far the importance of retaliation is concerned. What’s important is that their corruption-creating presence should end.”

John Kerry’s friend Javad Zarif announced on Twitter: “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of U.N. Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched.” Iran’s Foreign Minister explained: “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression[.]”

President Trump tweeted that “All is well!” He related: “Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good!” He is to make a statement this morning. In the meantime, Democrats seek to foment hysteria and aggravate Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Coincidentally, a Ukraine International Airlines jetliner — a Boeing 737-800 — crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and crew members on board. The Journal reports that the crash took place at 6:12 a.m. in Iran. The Journal adds: “Iran’s official state news agency said the plane crashed because of an engine fire caused by a technical fault. It didn’t explain how that conclusion was reached.”

The jetliner’s black boxes have been found. The Reuters story carried by the Jerusalem Post has more details here.

By far the best commentary on the events in play is by Lee Smith. See his Tablet column “Iran and America Are Suddenly Both Naked.” Back in 2015, Lee also had the best commentary on the events in play. See his Hudson column “Obama Strikes a Deal–With Qassem Suleimani.”