Iran has attacked the American forces in Iraq on Tuesday night, firing more than 20 ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where American troops are stationed, in response to killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, U.S. media reports.
However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted after the missile strikes that Iran does not seek “seek escalation or war.”
The Iranian state television claimed that at least “80 American terrorists” had been killed in the air strikes.
Yet, Senior Iraqi defense officials who work with the United States command said no Americans or Iraqis had been killed in the attacks.
In a tweet, US President Donald Trump suggested that damages and casualties sustained by American forces were minimal. But he also said the assessment of the attacks was ongoing. “All is well!,” he said in a tweet. “Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good!”.
The US Embassy in Jordan has yet warned the US embassy staff and families to avoid going out. “Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy is advising U.S. government personnel to avoid non-essential movements outside the home on January 8, including keeping children home from school. The Embassy remains open,” tweeted the U.S. Embassy in Jordan.
General Suleimani was killed on Friday in Baghdad in a drone strike ordered by President Trump. American officials said the general, who led the guard’s foreign expeditionary Quds Force, was planning imminent attacks on American interests.
Romania has announced yesterday it had started the relocation of some soldiers of Iraq, with the first 14 army instructors being already relocated to other bases.
Ukrainian jet crashes in Tehran, 176 people dead
At the same time , more than 170 people were killed in Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday when a passenger jet crashed. A Ukranian Boeing 737-800 carrying 176 people crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran. There are no survivors, the Iranian state news media reported.
The circumstances of the crash were unclear. The Iranian media cited technical problems with the plane, which was bound for Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital.
Yet, the Iranian Students’ News Agency, a state-run media organization, shared a video it said showed the predawn crash, with a distant light descending in the distance before a bright burst filled the sky upon impact.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has announced the nationality of the passengers aboard the crashed plane:
Iran – 82 people.
Canada – 63;
Ukraine – 2 + 9 (crew);
Sweden – 10;
Afghanistan – 4;
Germany – 3;
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Embassy in Tehran has deleted a previous post claiming that the plane crash was not related to any terrorist causes, announcing later on that the new data are “to be clarified”.
On top of all, Iran has announced it will not send the flight recorder of the Boeing 737-800 to the producer, as the chief of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organisation, Ali Abedzadeh announced.
At the same time, airlines started announcing they will avoid the air space in the region if needed.
Wizz Air has announced that, amid recent developments in the Middle East, it hasn’t yet any cancelled flight to Dubai and no change in the flight schedule, while adding though it will re-consider any action on flights to this destination if the situation requires.
„Wizz Air would like to inform passengers that it’s constantly monitoring and assessing the recent events in the Middle East and that it is in touch with the relevant authorities. Until now there were no cancelled flights, but the situation in the region is changing, and if it is the case, the company will take all necessary measures to maintain the safety of the passengers, crews and planes operated to Dubai. If there is any change in the flight schedule of the company following some potential events in the region, the affected passengers will be informed by SMS or e-mail,” Wizz Air informs in a press release.