What appears to be new damage at Al Asad air base in Iraq is seen in a satellite picture taken January 8, 2020. Planet/Handout via REUTERS
CAIRO – 9 January 2019: "News about the Iranian missile attack on U.S. base, Ain Assad, in Anbar, Western Iraq was leaked shortly before the execution, which allowed U.S. to take the necessary measures to protect its soldiers," an official source told Iraqi owned TV network Al-Sumaria News.
The statements published on Wednesday on condition of anonymity of the source, noted that the U.S. directed its soldiers upon receiving the leaked information to take shelter in their immune bunkers, as the aircrafts and helicopters headed out of the Iraqi to re-target the Iranian missiles before reaching the air base.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, However, said in statements that Iran informed them with the attack shortly before proceeding with it. Mahdi called on all parties to respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi State.
Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also affirmed in statements that they informed the US with the military operation through Switzerland.
On Tuesday, Iran launched missiles at U.S.-led forces in Iraq, retaliating for the U.S. drone strike on Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, whose killing last week stoked fears of a new Middle East war.
According to Reuters, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the missile attack was a “slap on the face” of the United States and that U.S. troops should leave the region. He was addressing a gathering of Iranians who chanted “Death to America”.