The US military remains on alert
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday that Washington has restored a certain level of deterrence.
The prime minister explained that Washington had regained a “certain level” of deterrence with a drone attack on Qassem Suleiman and a strike by an Iraqi Shiite paramilitary group called Kataib Hezbollah in December. But he added that only the future could prove whether deterrence was working or not.
US forces killed Qassem Suleiman, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s special forces, last Friday in Baghdad.
Esper said that
On Wednesday morning, Iran launched 16 short-range missiles in retaliatory attacks in Iraq, at least 11 of which caused damage to the Ain Al-Asad air base and one to the Erbil military base.
The minister said that there was no significant material damage, and that the missiles destroyed military tents and a helicopter, and damaged the parking lot.
The US military is always on alert.
Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also attended the press conference. The general explained:
According to its “personal assessment,” Iran’s intention was to damage military infrastructure and equipment, as well as kill the soldiers stationed there.
However, Milley added, “The analysis is a matter of intelligence experts.” Mark Milley also stressed that it would be too early to say that Iran has already been blown up after the missile attacks.