As it happened: France condemns Iran's missile strike against US forces in Iraq
Iran struck back at the US early Wednesday for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, firing a series of ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing US troops in a major escalation between the two longtime foes. Read our live blog below to see how all the day's events unfolded.
- Iran fired missiles at two bases in Iraq housing US troops early Wednesday in revenge for the US killing of General Qassem Soleimani.
- US President Donald Trump said there were no American or Iraqi casualties in the missile strike, adding that Americans should be “extremely grateful and happy” with the outcome.
- Trump also said that Iran appeared to be “standing down” and said the US response would be to put in place new economic sanctions “until Iran changes its behaviour".
- Iraq and a number of European countries in the anti-Islamic State (IS) group coalition – including France, Britain, Germany, Spain, Poland and Denmark – said none of their military personnel were hurt in the strikes.
- Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the strikes were a “slap in the face” of the US and called for a withdrawal of US troops in the region. In a televised speech, Khamenei said resuming nuclear talks with Washington would pave the way for US dominance.
- France has condemned the latest Iranian attack and reiterated the importance of maintaining the fight against the IS group while respecting Iraq’s sovereignty. Paris is in contact with all parties and will try to de-escalate tensions, said a French foreign ministry statement.
- Defending his country’s retaliation, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the strikes were “proportionate measures” in response to Soleimani’s killing.
- Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said the crisis Iraq was experiencing is over following de-escalation rhetoric from both Iran and the US and called on militia groups not to carry out attacks.
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