Donald Trump addressed the nation Wednesday (Jan. 8) following an Iranian missile strike at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.
The attack was in retaliation for the American drone strike that killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, last week, CBS News reports.
“As long as I am president of the United States Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” Trump began during his address. “We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe.”
Trump added that “Iran appears to be standing down,” which is a “good thing for all parties concerned and a good thing for the world.”
He also confirmed that “no Iraqi lives were lost” in the missile attack.
According to the Pentagon, more than a dozen ballistic missiles targeted the Al Asad and Erbil military bases, CBS News reports.
Trump took to Twitter after the attack, writing, “All is well!”
CBS News reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif defended Iran’s attack, tweeting that Tehran “took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense.”
Zarif added that “we do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression,” CBS News reports.
During Wednesday’s address to the nation, Trump explained that “last week we took decisive action to stop a ruthless terrorist from taking American lives.”
Trump listed several instances when Soleimani orchestrated attacks against Americans.
“Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolute worst atrocities,” Trump said. “He fueled bloody civil wars.
“Soleimani orchestrated the violent assault on the US embassy in Baghdad,” Trump continued. “We stopped him. Soleimani’s hands were drenched in both Iranian and American blood.”
A U.S. official told CBS News after the Iranian missile attacks that American forces at both bases had enough warning about an attack coming so they had time to take cover.
The Al Asad air base houses about 1,500 U.S. and coalition forces and was already preparing for a possible revenge attack by Iran, pausing its operations against ISIS, CBS News reports.
During Trump’s address to the nation, he said, “The missiles fired last night were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s office said that Iran had notified Baghdad that it was taking revenge with missile strikes targeting American forces inside Iraq, as the missile salvo from Iran began or shortly before, CBS News reports.
“Shortly after midnight on Wednesday 8/1/2020, we received an official oral message from the Islamic Republic of Iran that the Iranian response to the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani had begun, or (was) about to begin shortly, and that the strikes would be limited to sites where U.S. forces are deployed, but without identifying these sites,” the statement posted to the prime minister’s Facebook page said, CBS News reports.
“Simultaneously, the American side contacted us as the missiles were falling on the wing of the American forces at Ain al-Assad base in Anbar, Harir base in Erbil, and in other locations,” the statement from Mahdi’s office said.
Mahdi added he was reaching out to his own subordinates and external partners to try to contain the situation and avert a full-scale conflict, CBS News reports.
Trump called on the U.K., France, Russia, and China during his address saying, “We must all work together to make a deal with Iran that makes the world a more peaceful place.”
He also boasted about the trillions of dollars his administration has pumped into rebuilding U.S. Armed forces, which he described as “stronger than ever before.”
“The fact that we have this great military and equipment does not mean we have to use it,” Trump added. “We do not want to use it.”
Trump had a message for terrorists targeting America, “If you value your own life you will not threaten the lives of our people.”
Although he said the “powerful sanctions will remain until Iran” changes, Trump also added, “The United States is ready to embrace peace.”