Iran launches missiles at US forces in Iraq at al-Asad and Erbil – live updates - Zongo Link Multimedia

Iran launches missiles at US forces in Iraq at al-Asad and Erbil – live updates

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Our reporter Michael Safi writes that while this claim is “almost certainly not true”, it allows Iran to “beat their chest and claim victory”.

In analysis for the Guardian, Safi writes that the highly-symbolic missile strikes, potentially offer “a pathway out of the crisis”.
In their immediate aftermath, the attacks appear to have been carefully calibrated to avoid US casualties – fired at bases that were already on high alert.
Iran’s foreign minister has said the strikes have concluded and characterised them as self-defence within the boundaries of international law – not the first shots in a war.

Trump, in his first comments after the strikes, also sought to play them down.
If Trump’s assessment of the damage holds, Wednesday’s strikes might be an opportunity for both sides to de-escalate without losing face. Iran will be able to say it took violent revenge for Suleimani’s death and pivot to a campaign of proxy warfare – with which it feels more comfortable, against a vastly more powerful adversary – and diplomatic pressure to eject American forces from Iraq.

The US can also step back, shrugging off the retaliation as being of no significant consequence. That is the best-case scenario, but it rests on two risky premises: that more than a dozen missiles struck bases hosting US military personnel without substantial damage or casualties; and that the White House will resist any urge to respond.

Source:theguardian.com

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