Iranian Strikes in Iraq (January 8)
Casualties: The President noted in his remarks that there were no casualties; governments of Iraq, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Spain also reported no casualties among their soldiers in Iraq.
Iraqi Protests Against Iran: Iraqi protesters in Nasiriyah reportedly refused to allow supporters of Iran-aligned groups Badr Organization, Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), Kataib Hezbollah (KH) to lead a funeral for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis through al-Haboobi Square on January 7. Following this, pro-Iran militia groups reportedly opened fire on pro-reform protesters in al-Haboobi Square and burned their tents. In return, protesters reportedly torched Badr, AAH, and KH offices.
Number of Attacks by Iran/Iranian-Supported Militias on U.S. Forces: Before last night’s attack by Iran on the Iraqi facilities, there have been 14 attacks by Iran and Iranian-supported militias on U.S. forces since September 2019.
Highlights from President Trump’s remarks on January 8, 2020:
- “As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.”
- “No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases…No American or Iraqi lives were lost.”
- “Soleimani’s hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood. He should have been terminated long ago. By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists: If you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our people.”
- “The United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior.”
- “Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality. They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal – or JCPOA – and we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper, and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential.”
- “I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process.”
- “To the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future — one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”
- Iraq PM Adil Abd al-Mahdi: The government continues its efforts to prevent escalation and respect of all to the sovereignty of Iraq and not to overlook it and not to endanger its people. We have called and still call on all to practice self-restraint and to resort to the language of reason and abide by the international conventions and respect for the Iraqi state and the decisions of it government and assisting it to contain and pass this serious crisis that is threatening the region and the world with a devastating and all-out war.
- EU: EU Ambassador to Iraq Huth: “Iran is violating Iraqi sovereignty by launching air strikes tonight.”
- Germany, France and UK: A Joint statement by President Macron, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Johnson called on Iran to refrain from further violent action or proliferation, and urged Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the JCPOA. They reaffirmed their commitment to the D-ISIS Coalition and urged the Iraqi government to do all in its power to preserve it.
- UK: FS Raab condemned the missile attack and urged Iran “not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks…We have always recognized the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qasem Soleimani. Following his death, we urge all parties to de-escalate. Further conflict is in none of our interests.”; Defense Minister Wallace said the United States is entitled to defend itself.
- Germany: German FM Maas condemned the missile attacks and urged Iran to refrain from “steps that could lead to a further escalation.”; German government spokesperson said ‘The American action was a reaction to a series of military provocations for which Iran is responsible.”
- France: Official readout of POTUS-Macron call underlined France’s total solidarity with its allies in the face of recent attacks against the coalition. Macron expressed concern about the Quds Force’s destabilizing activities under Soleimani’s authority and discouraged regional escalation.
- Israel: PM Netanyahu congratulated President Trump for “acting swiftly, boldly, and resolutely” against the “terrorizer in chief, who was the architect and driver of Iran’s campaign of carnage of terror…Just as Israel has the right of self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right.”
- Canada: PM Trudeau continued to “strongly urge de-escalation across the region.”; FM Champagne: “Canada has long been concerned by the IRGC’s Quds Force, led by Soleimani, whose aggressive actions had a destabilizing effect in the region and beyond.”
- Netherlands: Dutch FM Stef Blok acknowledged “Soleimani has played a role” in regional instability, and condemned attacks on Embassy Baghdad and coalition forces in Iraq.
- Finland: President Niinisto condemned the Iranian missile strike targeting “peacekeeping troops in the region” and called on the international community to “make every effort to break the cycle of violence.”