US President Donald Trump has responded to Tuesday night’s attack by Iran on US and coalition forces stationed at bases in Iraq.
“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq,” Trump tweeted. “Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”
Shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. It was not immediately clear if any U.S. service members were hurt in the strikes.
The reassuring tone of Trump’s tweet marked an unexpected shift away from the harsh rhetoric the president has used in recent days to characterize tensions with Iran, which escalated following a U.S. strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
Hours before the Tuesday night attacks, Trump told reporters at the White House that “if Iran does anything that they shouldn’t be doing, they’re going to be suffering the consequences and very strongly.”
Trump also said the United States was “totally prepared” for Iran to retaliate, and “we’re prepared to attack if we have to as retribution.”
U.S. stock futures plunged on Tuesday night on news of the Iranian offensive.
Trump spent part of Tuesday night meeting with top advisers at the White House about the attacks, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Army Gen. Mark Milley.
Both the Pentagon and the Iranian government were unequivocal about who was behind the attacks. “It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil,” a Pentagon spokesman said soon after the attacks.
Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said in a tweet late Tuesday that Iran “took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense.”
Zarif added, “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”