The US military had advanced warning of missile attacks coming from Iran, according to USA Today. With supposed warning from Iraq officials, US troops had time to bunker and avoid the missiles. Attacks against Iraqi military bases housing US troops in Iraq have already increased in the wake of Maj. Gen. Qassem Solemani’s death. Soleimani was the commander of the Quds Force and the main architect of Iran's military policies; he played a pivotal role in the country's activities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.
Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said "his country had 'concluded proportionate measures' in response to a 'cowardly armed attack against our citizens.'" USA Today quoted Fahim Masoud, regional intelligence manager for the Middle East, warning "that Zarif's statement does not mean Iran will stop using its proxies and cyberwarfare capabilities to attack U.S. troops, interests and assets." Masoud went on to say that "Soleimani's killing was the most consequential event in the Middle East since the invasion of Iraq. Its consequences will reverberate through the region for several years."
In the absence of a modern air force, Iran has been developing ballistic missiles to dissuade its regional enemies - Israel and Saudi Arabia - and the US from launching attacks against Iran. Iran has the largest missile arsenal in the Middle East, with a significant inventory of close-range, short-range, and medium-range ballistic missiles, with a distance of 2,000 kilometers.
As Fahim stated in WorldAware's January 8 intelligence briefing, "conventional war with Iran is not likely due to its outdated weaponry and an economy that is on the verge of collapse."
"The Iranian regime wants to survive," he said.
Read more from the USA Today article.
About Fahim Masoud
Fahim Masoud is a Regional Intelligence Manager at WorldAware, assessing and analyzing threats across the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to immigrating to the United States in 2008, Masoud worked as a linguist and cultural adviser for the United States Army in Afghanistan for 18 months.