President Trump vowed new sanctions against Iran after a missile attack on Iraqi air bases that house American troops.
Iran retaliated to the killing of top General Qassem Soleimani by firing more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi bases on Wednesday, NBC News reported. No American casualties were reported.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the strikes were a “slap in the face” to the US and not sufficient retaliation for the killing of Soleimani. He vowed to expel all US troops from the region.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said the country did not "seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."
US forces “likely had some warning before the missiles struck” and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said that Iran warned him of the attack shortly before midnight.
Mahdi said he was told "the strike would be limited to the locations of the U.S. military in Iraq" and he "alerted the Iraqi forces and military commanders to take necessary precautions."
Trump says Iran “standing down”:
"Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world," Trump said on Wednesday morning.
"I'm pleased to inform you the American people should be extremely grateful and happy," he said.
Trump said “no American or Iraqi lives were lost” because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of force and an early warning system that worked very well.”
Trump responds with sanctions:
Trump vowed to impose new sanctions on Iran.
"As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime," Trump said. "These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior."
The tone was a marked change from his threat on Tuesday.
"If Iran does anything that they shouldn't be doing, they're going to be suffering the consequences and very strongly,” he said before the attack.