No Shock, No Awe — Iranian Rockets Glare in Iraq, US Troops ‘Still in Bunker Mode’

January 7, 2020

Into dangerous uncharted waters this Tuesday evening as reports of Iranian rockets falling onto a couple of Iraqi military bases housing American troops, first retaliatory strikes in the wake of the T-Rump’s command to assassinate Iranian general Qasem Solemani last Thursday.
Apparently too early for a response from the T-Rump, but there’s still time…

The latest via the Washington Post near-about dark here in California’s San Joaquin Valley:

Iranian forces have launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against two military bases in Iraq, the Pentagon said Tuesday evening, marking the most significant Iranian attack in the growing conflict between Iran and the United States.
The attack was launched about 5:30 p.m. in Washington, the Pentagon said.
“It is clear these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel,” the statement said.
Al Asad air base in western Iraq and at least one facility in Erbil were targeted.
“As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region,” the statement said.
“Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we will continue to provide updates as they become available.”
One U.S. military official, reached for comment Tuesday evening, said U.S. troops were still assessing what happened.
“They’re still in bunker mode,” the official said.
The al-Asad air base in Iraq was hit by at least six rockets about midnight Wednesday, said a U.S. defense official familiar with the situation.
The base, in Iraq’s western Anbar province, houses some American troops.
Trump on Sunday called it “extraordinarily expensive,” threatening the Iraqi government with sanctions if the United States is told to withdraw all of its troops from Iraq and the government in Baghdad does not pay for it.

Although there’s no reports of Americans hurt, supposedly there were Iraqi casualties in the attack on the Ain al-Assad air base, and from CNN:

In its Telegram channel, Iranian Revolutionary Guard says the “Pentagon reports that the US will respond to Iran’s attacks.”
IRGC then says in a footnote, “This time we will respond to you in America”

And thus:

Security has been increased around the grounds of the White House tonight in light of the current tensions with Iran, a law enforcement official said.
A US Secret Service official declined to comment, passing along a statement released by the agency, saying it “continually assesses the threat environment surrounding all protectees.”
USSS officers with assault rifles were spotted at checkpoints near the White House.

Video of rockets reportedly hitting al-Asad airbase also per CNN.

Yet, there’s the nightmare fright due to the T-Rump being the unhinged, vile T-Rump without a conscience — from BusinessInsider this morning and prior to the Iranian rocket attacks, a discussion of the T-Rump’s possible use of nuclear weapons in our current scenario, with Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey who studies nuclear arms control, and Scott Sagan, a professor of political science at Stanford University who specializes in the study of US nuclear weapons.
Read the whole piece, though, this is the latch-pin:

Lewis and Sagan both believe Trump is multiple steps removed from dropping the B61-12 or similar nukes on Iranian targets.
But they do worry about Trump’s track record, the evolved state of the American nuclear arsenal, and the fact that the president has the authority to order a US nuclear-weapons strike at any time — a power that, in most cases, not even the highest career military commanders or cabinet members could stop him from asking for and using.
“I don’t think it’s too soon to be thinking about this as a possibility, though it is remote,” Lewis said.

“The legal ethics are that you should respond proportionately and not kill more noncombatants than is necessary — try to reduce collateral damage unless destroying the target is really, really important,” Sagan said.
“I think the US military is the voice of reason in this administration. And that’s disturbing because in the past, they haven’t been the voice of reason.”

We can only hope…

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Agonizing Horse,’ found here).

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