Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 08, 2020

Iran's Missile Launch Against Two U.S. Bases in Iraq Calls Trump's Bluff - Updated

Updated below

Last night Iran fired 22 Qiam missiles towards two U.S. bases in Iraq. Between 1:45 and 2:15 local time (~22:00 UTC) seventeen missiles hit the Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi. Five missiles were aimed at Erbil airport in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq. There were no casualties.

The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents the U.S., was warned at least one hour before the attack happened. Around 0:00 UTC the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which prohibited civil U.S. flights over Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

This attack was the "open" and "proportional" response for the U.S. assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani which Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had promised. It will certainly not be the only response but represents the opening shot of a long and much more silent campaign to kick the U.S. out of the Middle East.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who had threatened to destroy 52 targets in Iran including cultural sites if Iran would take any revenge, seems to have understood that this attack was intentionally limited to avoid a larger war:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 2:45 UTC · Jan 8, 2020
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.

The Qiam missiles Iran launched are a derivative of the Soviet Scud type. They are liquid fueled with a warhead of about 700 kilogram. They have a range of some 800 kilometer. Iran has more capable and precise solid fueled missiles it could have used.

The Ain al Assad airbase which was hit is where the drones that killed Soleimani and the Iraqi leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were launched from. Erbil airport is the logistic center for the U.S. forces in Syria.

Videos show the launch and the impact of the missiles.

No U.S. air or missile defense against the incoming projectiles was observed.

The message from Iran is thus: "We can attack all your bases and you can do nothing to prevent that."

Iran's leader said that the attack was "slap in the face" for the U.S. and that this military reaction to the U.S. crime is not the only one that will happen:

Ayatollah Khamenei addressed the nation live on TV in a meeting with a large group of people from Qom, in commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the January 9, 1978 uprising in Qom against the Pahlavi regime.

The live address also took place hours after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq after launching a wave of attacks in early hours of Wednesday to retaliate the US assassination of IRGC Quds Force commander, Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
“What is important in addition to retaliation is that military operations do not suffice. It is important to end the US corrupting presence in the region,” the Leader stressed.

“Americans are insisting on bringing corruption and destruction into our dear Iran. Talks of sitting down at the negotiating table is a preface to interventions, which must end. Regional nations do not accept the US presence and its meddling measures,” he added.

“The US enmity toward Iran is not temporary; it’s inherent. It is a ‘gross mistake’ to think if we took a step back and comprised, the US would stop its enmity,” he stressed.

Hours after Iran had launched the missiles a Ukrainian airliner crashed three minutes after it had taken off from Tehran airport. All 176 people on board died. The passengers were mostly from Iran, Canada and the Ukraine. The airplane was a three years old Boeing 737-800 NG operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, the country's flag carrier. Video shows the burning airliner coming down on a glide path. Photos from the crash site show shrapnel like impacts on the fuselage. The evidence is consistent with an uncontained turbine disc rupture but other potential causes can not be ruled out. The incident will be investigated like all other airliner crashes.

The Iranian military revenge was less intensive then I had expected. But it was also a clear sign that Iran is capable and willing to openly attack U.S. bases in the larger area. The missile attack came despite Donald Trump's threats to Iran. It called his bluff.

Further reactions will depend on the U.S. reactions to the demand of the Iraqi parliament that all foreign forces leave Iraq. Should the U.S. leave Iraq peacefully all will be well. Should it insist on staying U.S. soldiers will die.

Update - 17:00 UTC

Additional information has come in which corrects or adds to some of the above made claims.

The 17 missiles launched against Ain al Assad airbase were of the Qiam-2 type which is an updated version of the original Qiam with a guided warhead and much better accuracy. The missiles launched towards Erbil airport were solid fueled Fateh 313 missiles which have a 500 kilometer range and additional anti-interception devices.

Damage pictures of Ain al-Assad airbase show that the hits were well targeted and extremely precise.

Source: ArmsControlWonk - bigger

Source: ArmsControlWonk - bigger

Trump confirmed that there were no U.S. casualties. The situation is thereby de-escalating as the U.S. will now stand down. Trump called the damage on the base "minimal" even while several airplane/drone hangers were obviously hit and completely destroyed with everything they contained. Iran must have had very good intelligence about the site. Trump also lauded an early warning system that, he said, prevented casualties. The Swiss embassy in Tehran will have a good laugh at that comment.

Higher quality daylight pictures of the crashed Ukrainian plane show that at least some of the "shrapnel impact holes" are not holes at all but are debris or dirt lying on top of the aircraft pieces. Additional pictures also show no evidence of an externally induced event.

The Flight Data Recorders of the airplane were found. Iran will download the data from them or, if it does not have that capability, will ask some other country (France?, Germany?) to do so. A preliminary accident report will be published after one month.

Posted by b on January 8, 2020 at 11:45 UTC | Permalink

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@470 : Paleene.. exactly right on.. thanks..

@493 S... that is reasonable logic... thanks..

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2020 17:37 utc | 501

If two events are independent, then you multiply together to get the probability of both events occurring; if they are not independent, multiplying probabilities gives the wrong answer.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 9 2020 17:40 utc | 502

The "unnamed US officials" strike again:

US Officials Believe Ukrainian Plane Was 'Most Likely' Accidentally Shot Down by Iranian Air Defence

Was there an aerial attack on Iran? Don't remember...

Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 17:40 utc | 503

Usually the truth lies somewhere in between of what is publicly available. Having said that, it seems inconceivable (although slightly possible) that there were no casualties -- at least injuries -- (intended/unintended) in these strikes. Think about just the the likelihood of a concussion or related injures from a missile strike in relative close proximity. Unless the base was completely deserted the possibility of no casualties is remote at best!

So when connecting the dots, and scanning the latest articles here are some some highlights worthy of mention:

source 1:

“We did not aim to kill (anybody)” the top commander said, adding, “We intended to hit the enemy’s military machine.”

“We fired 13 missiles at the (US) bases in Iraq, although we had prepared several hundred missiles for launching,” he stated.

“We did not seek to kill anyone in this operation,” he said, adding, “However, tens of people were killed and wounded.

source 2:

He said the US completely failed to deliver any response to the IRGC’s operation, although the US forces were on full alert following the assassination and 12 unmanned aircraft and a number of piloted ones were on surveillance mission above Ain al-Assad as the Corps’ was about to launch its revenge attacks.

Trump has denied that the Iranian strikes led to any casualties. But Hajizadeh said the US military conducted at least nine sorties after the operation, taking the wounded to Jordan and the occupied territories, while Chinook gunships would transfer the injured American to the US hospital in Baghdad.

source 3:

Speaking to the Tehran-based private Tasnim News Agency, the source said the ballistic missiles launched by the IRGC killed at least 80 "American terrorist forces".

"At least 104 targets from the positions of the Americans and their allies in the region have been identified, and if the Americans make any mistake again, those positions will be targeted," the source warned.

He added that a number of American drones and helicopters and a large amount of military equipment have been seriously damaged in the attack.


Iraq said the attacks have not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases.

Following the attack, the US army had blocked entrance into Ain al-Asad to everyone, including the Iraqi army.

And here a video taken in the aftermath of the missile strikes

Posted by: jsb | Jan 9 2020 17:41 utc | 504

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 17:23 utc | 503
Interesting story !!!!

Posted by: spudski | Jan 9 2020 17:40 utc | 507
Thank You !!!
It has been some time since I needed to deal this subject. Running Monte Carlo Simulations was the last time and they had nothing to do with falling planes, Trump getting ready to push the button or UkroNazis doing machinate on a Ukrainian plane in Kiev. But I bet the 3-Letter Club does it :-)

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 9 2020 17:47 utc | 505

Very interesting examples about the USA contemplating the staging of a false flag attack to justify American aggression against Iran.

4 Times the US Threatened to Stage an Attack and Blame it on Iran

Posted by: ak74 | Jan 9 2020 17:48 utc | 506

So consider a dog named fido taking a shit in Copenhagen at a particular moment and a plane crash in Tehran occurring at the same time. Prior to the events one could calculate the odds of the plane crash in Tehran and the odds of a dog named fido taking a shit in Copenhagen. Prior to the event, the odds of both events happening at the same time would be sum of those odds regardlesss of whether they are statistically dependent or not.

Posted by: Carciofi | Jan 9 2020 17:50 utc | 507

Circe @ 489

I agree with most of this post, and I like very much your use of the word 'cabal'. It spans duplicity very well and suits my purpose in what I was preparing to say. I will use it for the purposes of simplicity. Here is my take on matters we dimly have seen unfolding, with special note of posters who have remarked on the excesses in previous comments on this thread - that this merely evidences the extreme distress that has been caused by this unfolding process.

First, the cabal initiated a tragedy, abruptly and criminally with the murder of possibly the most important man in Iran, Qassem Soleimani. That bloody occurrence, along with the murder of one of Iraq's generals who was his friend, and their entourages, as they were apparently in open transit for meetings concerning the elimination of terrorism (broadly speaking) was an horrific mistake. I say again, it was an horrific mistake, and some in the cabal realized that immediately.

We have been informed that a delegation at once rushed to establish communication with Iran's higher administration requesting that a proportionate response occur. And that is what happened. Legally according to international law.

On its side, the US left itself open to attack at the base from which the original infamous murder had originated. We don't know if there were casualties, but I would think not. It isn't a matter of who 'won' this exchange, or whether it was 'kabuki'. Damage was inflicted in accordance with Iran's perception that a horrible mistake had happened, perpetrated by fools that had more power than they should have had. Iran expects such fools will be rendered powerless from now on. If not, there will be consequences. We are not out of the woods. They will watch closely to see if the damage is being effectively curtailed, and if not, all bets are off.

There are stated conditions that now the Axis of Resistance will expect to be complied with. And pressure will be publicly and privately on to see that they are.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 9 2020 17:50 utc | 508

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 9 2020 17:47 utc | 510

Darn, some errors :-(
"to deal with this subject."
"doing maintenance on.."

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 9 2020 17:51 utc | 509

Would not surprise me if Trump starts to bomb iranian military now after the sickening lie that Iran brought the plan down.
No investigation have of course been done but the warmongers just need another war it seems.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 9 2020 17:55 utc | 510

Zarif's CNN interview given "before we carried out proportionate military response—delivering on our promise," is curious given its content. The clip is only 1 3/4min. Rest of tweet gives away a bit of the content:

"@realdonaldtrump has been fed disinformation.

"'Beautiful military equipment' do not rule the world: people do.

"And people of our region want U.S. out."

Today, Iranian sources such as Iran's UN rep and its IRGC commander are sending out conflicting messages essentially one saying it's over while the other says we've only just begun.

Meanwhile the Evil Outlaw US Empire continues to utter BigLies--Iran shot down 737; Iran was going to blow up US Baghdad embassy; Soleimani evidence too sensitive to show lawmakers; and so forth. The House will pass a resolution supposedly making it harder for Trump to wage war that appears to have some R-Party support, but would still need to pass the Senate by a veto-proof margin, which I find unlikely given its previous treasonous behavior.

And Philip Giraldi asks some basic questions in relation to "America the Repugnant. Assassinating Foreign Leaders Is an Act of War."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 9 2020 17:58 utc | 511

Dude! That's Great! > "3-Letter Club" wooohoo! I'll use it.

Meantime, War only Started... the party's on...and lest anybody imagine that there's no animus 'tween their lordships of ignorance and greed and the Persian Treasure..."The CIA history of operation TPAJAX " at https://nsarchive2 dot gwu dot edu

In their own words... Just like at Nuremberg. Read. Weep. And save a copy. 194 terrible pages that say not only what they did, but why, and revealing their own unstated a-priori assumption about class privilege.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 18:02 utc | 512

Belgium has aknowledged 4 of its SF were in the intl base at Irbil when it happened.

Posted by: Mina | Jan 9 2020 18:07 utc | 513

As an addendum, consider what happened at Erbil. I am wondering, was that facility warned of the approaching attack? If not, that makes sense of the fact reported that missiles fell around it and not on it. As a consulate, that would have many folk critical to the cabal in residence. The message was being sent that they could have exacted a bloody toll in accordance with international law as being proportionate to the assassinations being a deliberate blow from an opposing regime. That they did not do this, to me, means they accepted that initial message as I have interpreted the exchange.

Very willing to accept corrections of my admittedly amateur analysis. It is based on admiration of Iran's adherence to international law in the face of extreme loss perpetrated by idiots.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 9 2020 18:08 utc | 514

Edit: if A and B are independent events and the probability of A occurring is p and the probability of B occurring is q, then the probability of both A and B occurring is p multiplied by q. I'll quote from Charles Whelan's "Naked Statistics" (p. 75) at this point:

"This formula is applicable only if the events are independent, meaning that the outcome of one has no effect on the outcome of another. For example, the probability that you throw heads on the first flip [of a coin toss] does not change the likelihood of your throwing heads on the second flip. On the other hand, the probability that it rains today is not independent of whether it rained yesterday, since storm fronts can last for days."

I was going to stay out of the discussion of the difference between speed and velocity,but since I'm here now, I'll throw this in:

In the 1960s in Grade 11 physics, we learned that speed is a scalar (magnitude only) while velocity is a vector (magnitude and direction). So 100 km/h is speed whereas 100 km/h due west is a vector: adding scalars is by direct addition (e.g., travelling at 100 km/h and then increasing speed by 10 km/h means you are now travelling at 110 km/h) whereas adding the magnitudes of vectors is only valid if both vectors are in exactly the same direction (e.g., adding a vector 100 km/h due WEST to a vector 10 km/h due WEST results in a vector of magnitude of magnitude 110 due WEST but adding a vector of 100 km/h due WEST to a vector of 10 km/h due NORTH results in a vector of magnitude of less than 110(see Pythagorean theorem).

Fun fact, an object travelling at a constant speed of magnitude v in a straight line experiences no acceleration since there is no change in velocity and acceleration is the time rate of change of velocity; on the other hand, an object travelling at a constant speed of magnitude v in a circular orbit of radius r experiences an inward acceleration of a = v^2/r due to the fact that its direction is constantly changing.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 9 2020 18:18 utc | 515

Posted by: spudski | Jan 9 2020 18:18 utc | 520

In the 1960s in Grade 11 physics, we learned that speed is a scalar (magnitude only) while velocity is a vector (magnitude and direction).

So someone thought it was a good idea to call the vector length something special. It has nothing to do with physics, it is language gymnastics at best.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 9 2020 18:23 utc | 516

Trump spoke on Soleimani at a presser today.:We had a shot at him and I took it, and that was the end of a monster.

Naaaah, it's called extrajudicial murder.


Posted by: Circe | Jan 9 2020 18:24 utc | 517

S @ 493

Yes, that seems most likely. They would have been even more upset than we observing from a distance have been.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 9 2020 18:26 utc | 519

@Tom_LX | Jan 9 2020 17:47 utc | 510

You're welcome, I'm glad it was of some benefit. I was composing my edit when your response came in - had I seen it, I probably wouldn't have posted again on the topic @520. BTW, I find your comments very useful.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 9 2020 18:27 utc | 520

Aha! Photos of 737 engine:

"Some photos of one engine of the #Ukrainian_plane crashed near Tehran show signs of severe solid particle #errosion of leading edges of its blades.

"Could be a sign of poor/improper maintenance of the engine."

As I recall, the initial hypotheses centered on the poor maintenance probability given the nature of the owner and nationality of airliner--what ought to be called Boeing Syndrome.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 9 2020 18:31 utc | 521

PRESS: The plane that went down in Iran; what do you think happened?

TRUMP: Well, I have my suspicions...

That's called maliciously planting a seed to demonize without fact.

Throughout the presser today, lie after lie after lie!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 9 2020 18:32 utc | 522


This was standard high school physics from 50 years ago. Also, "vector analysis" was a required course in undergrad Engineering at Queen's University (Kingston) back then - I've still got the text book we used. Heard of "Vector Calculus"? Tensor Calculus? Please do read the whole post and have a nice life.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 9 2020 18:33 utc | 523

Posted by: spudski | Jan 9 2020 18:33 utc | 528

Please do read the whole post and have a nice life.

That's what you get for agreeing with someone these days...

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 9 2020 18:37 utc | 524

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 18:02 utc | 517

Good information on that website. When I was interested in the USS Liberty attack that was one of the web sites I would go to.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 9 2020 18:18 utc | 520

I was going to stay out of the discussion of the difference between speed and velocity,but since I'm here now, I'll throw this in:

I had the same though and stayed out but I'm glad you did it. Sometimes it is good to extend people's understanding and challenge them to look at things they may have forgotten or did not know.

In that Spirit, off from the left field,

The Case Against Reality | Prof. Donald Hoffman on Conscious Agent Theory

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 9 2020 18:54 utc | 525

Apologies for missing the "agreeing with someone" part - if it was there, my regrets. I don't want to get into semantics.

From "Physics Part I" Robert Resnick and David Halliday, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Second Corrected Printing, August 1967, from page xi, Contents:

2-1 Vectors and Scalars 15
2-2 Addition of Vectors, Geometrical Method 16
2-3 Resolution and Addition of Vectors, Analytical Method 18
2-4 Multiplication of Vectors 23
2-5 Vectors and the Laws of Physics 26

Posted by: spudski | Jan 9 2020 18:55 utc | 526

Wolle @523: B737 needs no missile

A comment from that twitter link:

That’s not an engine fire that’s a tailpipe fire, is just unburned fuel in the exhaust nozzle of the engine igniting.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 9 2020 18:57 utc | 527

So now that Trump basically sowed the suspicion that Iran downed the plane, CNN has a banner: U.S. INCREASINGLY BELIEVES IRAN SHOT DOWN FLIGHT BY ACCIDENT.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 9 2020 18:58 utc | 528

: karlof1 | Jan 9 2020 18:31 utc | 526

Thar is indeed a severe example. Foreign material ingestion at some point upstream, no question.

I said before that I worked for an outfit, long ago, that managed to forget about a mag-base and indicator that they left inside a big gasturbine generator. I was on the crew that fixed it, swapped it for new and cleaned up all the scrap metal shards downstream. It took months. Much of it like sharp as a razor too.

If the picture are true, that's an engine failure. No doubt. I do wonder if her own guts came lose, like a root failure of a fan blade, or if somebody was careless, or she picked up a rock on the runway, or what.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 19:04 utc | 529

karlof1 @ 516

Indeed, excellent observations! The Giraldi essay is on point:

"... Meanwhile he, the State Department and the Pentagon are all stating, without presenting any evidence at all to the public, that Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani was planning attacks that would kill “hundreds of Americans” as a casus belli justifying his assassination. The White House is also asserting that the killing was done to “stop a war,” which makes no sense even coming from the addled tweet-conditioned brain of Donald J. Trump. And if one still harbors suspicions that Trump might actually be of sound mind, it is possible to listen to him on the day after the assassination while speaking to a gathering of his supporters at an evangelical church in Florida. He told the cheering crowd that “God is on our side” and that Soleimani “…was planning a very major attack, and we got him.” The audience went wild in approval, chanting “four more years...”

This IS insanity. I believe the option is now in the court of Congress. They had better move fast.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 9 2020 19:11 utc | 530

Posted by: Circe | Jan 9 2020 18:58 utc | 532

So now that Trump basically sowed the suspicion that Iran downed the plane, CNN has a banner: U.S. INCREASINGLY BELIEVES IRAN SHOT DOWN FLIGHT BY ACCIDENT.

Whenever I hear CNN repeat something over and over I know the opposite is true. I recall sitting in the airport when NY Governor Spitzer trouble began. CNN was repeating over and over and over "Client 9". I tried to find a quiet part of the airport because it was getting irritating. Later on I started to dig into what Spitzer was up to that got the wrong people upset. Found it and all became clear.

Eliot Spitzer Says Goldman Case Shows That Banks Still Don’t Get It

Investment bank’s $22 million settlement of SEC charges that traders and bankers colluded illustrates that sell-side research remains subject to serious conflicts of interest, says former New York state attorney general who negotiated 2003 deal with Wall Street.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 9 2020 19:15 utc | 531

"tailpipe fire" only?
This caused an evacuation and the plane was grounded. I have never seen a tailpipe fire(50++ flights as PAX in 30 years).
IMHO this needs a extra inspection, maybe is not only a tailpipe fire.

Posted by: Wolle | Jan 9 2020 19:16 utc | 532

I wrote about the info war aspect of this


Zarif's tweet about IR655 before the attacks will be used as evidence that Iran wanted to down a civilian airliner.

They will say the plane was targeted because the airline owner is Jewish (Kolomoisky) and Iran hates the pro-Shah Iranian expat community.

PS It was actually a tweet from PM Rouhani.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 9 2020 19:29 utc | 533

juliania | Jan 9 2020 19:11 utc | 534..

Ah for the olds days.."Gott Mit Uns" on the belt buckles as the boys marched along singing with lusty German Pride!

He told the cheering crowd that “God is on our side”

If the Clown exits, then enter a real nutzo, The Pencer of Doom.

Man, it's not the individual. It's the logic of empire, the structure, the oil, the money.

Either "they" smash Iran (and Russia and China) or they're facing the pitchforks. Even already the general strike in France is 30 days, these people of the elite are terrified and desperate.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 19:34 utc | 534

The mask is slipping off further. US Senator Mike Lee has reported that, during the Senatorial intelligence briefing about the assassination of Soleimani, the briefers warned the Senators against debating the War Powers authorization for war with Iran, asserting that such debating would "embolden Iran". This basically proves that there is a "deep state" that thinks it's running the show (or should be, at least).

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 9 2020 19:41 utc | 535

Posted by: Walter | Jan 9 2020 19:34 utc | 538

they're facing the pitchforks.

Call me a pessimist but I have a hard time seeing this. I don't want to insult people but the smartphone generation is lost in the screen. They have no clue what is "down to earth reality". For me "down to earth reality" is sitting on the porch and bull shiting with your neighbor while the kids play in the street. Today there are no kids in the street unless they are gang bangers.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 9 2020 19:41 utc | 536

People still believe that Iraq would kick americans out?

Iraq's Foreign Minister to Iran: Strikes on US Forces Violated Our Sovereignty

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 9 2020 19:59 utc | 537

Unfortunately due to MSNBC's TDS and insidious Russiagate promotion, it's rarely viewed for information anymore such that when it does air something important it gets overlooked. This is a primary example: "Same lies I heard 20 years ago":

"'One of the things we learned was that there was no imminent threat that caused this assassination to happen right when it did.' - Sen. Sherrod Brown, on White House briefing about rationale behind Soleimani killing."

There are similar comments to Senator Brown's I've encountered, although it seems many members of congress have chosen to remain silent.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 9 2020 20:29 utc | 538

Iran has said it's vengeance operation has only begun since it has yet to strike all the facilities involved in the murder. What! There's more than two? I hear from the crowd of lurkers. Yes. Here's the vid announcing what's next:

"IRGC Commander Hajizadeh: 'In the first our, we identified the bases involved in the terrorist attack against Martyr Ghassem Soleimani.'

■ Camp Taji - Iraq
■ Ain al-Assad Airbase - Iraq
■ Muwaffaq Salti Air Base - Jordan
■ Ali Al-Salem Air Base - Kuwait"

And for Zionistan, the missiles aimed at Jordan will appear to be aimed at it. I'd be very interested to know how Iran determined there were 4 bases involved. Also interesting that none of the usual twitter sources have picked up this announcement and retweeted as it seems there're two down and two to go. Many presume the revenge is done; but the Red Flag still flies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 9 2020 20:51 utc | 539

Green and black bodybags.
Lot's of corpses in Tel-Aviv.
Stealth attack with plain tech. How did they pull it off?
There are huge radars in Ain Al Assad cover Iran and Turkey. Blinded.
Place houses some Kurds with the other base having the most. Possible "reminder" Damocles Sword to Erdogan too but lays now in ruins.

Meanwhile bankrupt Greece will buy F(ail)35 planes, says Trump in day before yesterday common public address with newly elected hard right wing PM.

Netta was visiting Greece PM same time the Cherubim General Q.Suleimani was being assasinated in Iraq.

Posted by: Qparticle | Jan 9 2020 20:56 utc | 540

So how about those other 799 american military bases,don't they protect themselves with AAA neither?I mean,if they already don't in a war zone,there is no reason why they should protect their bases from aerial attack in cooler environments.So they are quite defenseless from anything out of the air.Ergo,any body could drone them.

Posted by: willie | Jan 9 2020 21:44 utc | 541

Posted by: Piotr Berman

Trump was talking about buying Greenland. Maybe that was partly the leverage the US had in making the Danish slow down the Nordstream 2 project.

Posted by: JP | Jan 9 2020 22:00 utc | 542

Just because they said there were no casualties/deaths doesn't mean that is true. All they do is lie. Any deaths can later be chalked off as helicopter crashes and such.

Posted by: Fudly | Jan 9 2020 22:33 utc | 543

Summary: Overall the two camps in the US are the 'strangle them' camp and the 'bomb them' camp. the Stranglers won this round after almost being tricked by the Bombers. The Iranian input is to point out that Bombing won't come cheap.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 9 2020 22:35 utc | 544

Finally I got time to read through Saker too.

What amazed me is that Saker‘s transcript from what Hajizadeh (Iranian Aerospace Corps Commander) told the press lack the most important part which could be the reason why Yankee chosed not to pay back and start a limited war. In this part, Hajizadeh told about the EW operation started by Iran 15 minutes after all 13 Missiles hit their targets in Ayn-al-Asad.

To make it short, IRGC took over control of 8 MQ-9 flying above the base and switched off their video-streaming to the situation room.

Sorry, the link is partly containing persian words and there is no support for utf-8 coding on MoA.

Posted by: omid | Jan 9 2020 22:40 utc | 545

Sakar has a question and answer up with Michael Hudson, but it is more or less what he has already said. There were no comments when I looked, but my question would be, if indeed Congress is paralyzed, and the US 'leadership' is baiting Iran rather than moving off the troops, are we then awaiting more from Iran as karlof1 has suggested @ 543? Or shall it be simply a slow economic degradation in coming months as the rest of the world shifts to more positive and climate saving practises? I'm really very unclear as to how Prof. Hudson's reading of the tea leaves takes us further towards the peaceful outcome we all wish to see.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 9 2020 22:46 utc | 546

First, I'm in the process of reading Pepe Escobar's Facebook postings for the day where he's been very active. This initial one regards casualties:


"Going beyond the report which was or was not on Haaretz, or was axed, or was fake news, or came from a stolen account - whatever. What matter is what the head of the IRGC's Aerospace Force, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said. And that is EXTREMELY SERIOUS. I just reconfirmed it.

"He said: 'US forces transported its injured soldiers to Zionist entity [ a.k.a. Israel] USING NINE AIRPLANES.'"

"So that essentially confirms the report/no report/whatever published or not published by Haaretz.

"The Pentagon would NEVER admit in public they had injured soldiers - because in Exceptionalistan this is a casus belli.

"Gen. Hajizadeh is a very serious character. He's not in the lying and cheating business, like Consul Pompeus Minimus. He also said, 'we were able to target the barracks of US soldiers in airbase but we avoided that, because our aim was to target the command center.'"

Pepe posted an update to the above which is as follows:


"This is General Vahidi, a hotshot, very senior, on Iran's Channel 1 TV:

"He was asked the same question pervasive on Iranian media - about the discrepancies between the Pentagon version and the IRGC version on US soldiers injured in consequence of the Iranian missile strikes.

"He said that Ha'aretz had initially reported about wounded soldiers flown into Tel Aviv for treatment in Israeli hospitals, but that they quickly deleted the story, and that when they were questioned about it, implausibly stated that their server was hacked.

"Vahidi also said that most of the airplanes and drones and helicopters at 'Ayn al-Asad had been DESTROYED, and that the few remaining ones had been flown to another base north of Baghdad as the control tower and command and control center there had been blown to smithereens and the base was no longer operational.

"Aaaaw right, Exceptionalists: your turn."

This was followed by yet another posted 4 hours ago, which follows:


"The IRGC is adamant: NONE of their missiles was intercepted by the US. They all precisely hit their targets.

"Compare it with the US version: no casualties, and the bases sustained 'only minimal damage.'

"Iraqi lawmaker Naim al-Aboudi, of the Fatah (Conquest) alliance, told Al Mayadeen that THE AMERICAN-RUN SECTION OF AIN AL-ASSAD HAD BEEN COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED BY THE IRANIAN MISSILE STRIKE.

"Another Iraqi lawmaker, Hassan Salem, of the al-Sadiqoun bloc, told the Al Forat TV network, that Iran's missile attack was LIKE AN EARTHQUAKE ON the US base and, YES, did cause fatalities.
Once again: he also confirmed that the bodies of the slain American personnel HAD BEEN FLOWN TO TEL AVIV.

"Salem said the US MUST let Iraqi intel and media into the base to inspect the damage for themselves - and FINALLY find out the truth about the aftermath of the Iranian strikes."

Pepe provided the following link to a PressTV summary and vid of the operation from which some of the above info and my previous comment about it not having ended was pulled from. His lead-in:


"The clincher is an absolute killer:

"'It has been unprecedented since World War II that a shot would be fired at the US [military] with a country assuming responsibility for it.'


And he just now linked to Magnier's newest essay:

"A New Middle East 'made in Iran' is about to be born"

Wow! All the emphasis is Pepe's.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 9 2020 23:46 utc | 547

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 9 2020 23:46 utc | 551 with the Magnier link....thanks

He is quite optimistic and I am still of the opinion that there is much more warfare to come.

That is not to downplay the significance of what Iran has done but to put that in context of the big chunks of our world still under the "thrall" of global private finance. Trudeau being proxy for Trump tweeting BS about the downed plane is a perfect current example.

Just like Russia stopping empire in Syria during Obama's time this Iranian standing up to empire will be seen as a major event.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 10 2020 0:29 utc | 548

I have avoided to write my thoughts about the Boeing 737 incident because the moment I got the news, my brain told me this will be the main campaign pushed by western MSM to get people busy with something else then the historic slap on the face of US imperialism.

I’m not a military expert just an ordinary person with ordinary knowledge gathered from what I read. Almost all Iranian Air defense systems are configured in a MAN (metropolitan area network) configuration containing 3 to 6 peers.

Among them, a primary search radar that acknowledge a flying object, it’s type, size, speed, coordinates and so on. This primary peer transfer information to another peer, a tracking radar that identify the type of the flying object. The second peer can see the difference between a fighter a missile and a charter like the Boeing 737 based on the combined information received from the first peer. The tracking radar is also equipped with IFF (identification friend or foe) component. At this stage the target is locked on if the information received identify a threat. An operator have to confirm the luck on target command. Then the last peer in the chain react, this is the missile with another operator to confirm.

The Boeing 737 could in no way be identified as a military target based on it’s size (at least 10 times more RCS then a fighter jet or a missile), it’s speed (just after take off and far from cruise speed), it’s flying direction (nose up and away from the ground) and finally, IFF was functioning.

But let forget all this. The fact is that if it was hit by a missile at all, it was no chance that it could start a maneuver to fly back to the airport and that’s what the Boeing 737 tried to do in our case.
My brain tell me avoid following western MSM narrative and keep on the main story.

Posted by: omid | Jan 10 2020 0:44 utc | 549

Second, Saker's Q&A with Hudson. juliania @550--

At the end, Saker asks essentially the same question as you. Hudson replies that what we'll see is a slow decline given the amount of inertia present in the system. One item Hudson's 100% correct to emphasize is the overall lack of impact of the Zionist Lobby on overall Outlaw US Empire imperial strategy since it was devised well before the Lobby ever cam into being, and the overall sums of money involved dwarf the transfers between Occupied Palestine and the Empire. (Lots of people here and at Saker's will howl against that truism.)

Overall, I gave the Q&A an A+. As Hudson wrote/said last year, what needs to happen is a massive Political Fight that results in the formation of another base of political power independent of the Duopoly. Get that done, then numerous other projects can be started as well as the final withdrawal from overseas empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2020 1:00 utc | 550

karlof1 @543: ... the Red Flag still flies.

AFAICT, the flag will fly until USA is pushed out of the ME region.

That goal seems to be the consensus of what is required to revenge the martyr Soleimani.

Also, AFAICT, the flag doesn't represent Iranian government policy put Shia honor.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 1:06 utc | 551

@ 551 karlof1.. thanks for the pepe quotes and the one on the red flag too..

@ 553 omid... thanks for your comment at the end... i haven't seen anyone talking from this angle.. i don't know if you are right or not, but i am going to post your comment on the open thread to see if anyone has a response.. thanks!

omids quote "But let forget all this. The fact is that if it was hit by a missile at all, it was no chance that it could start a maneuver to fly back to the airport and that’s what the Boeing 737 tried to do in our case."

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 2:09 utc | 552

@551 karlof1

You've probably also now read the summary at Saker from IRGC Aerospace Force General Amir Ali Hajizadeh and his press conference. The source is Al-Alam News/Fars News Agency, and this is the Saker link:
Iran’s IRGC Aerospace Chief on US casualties/damages/future retaliation steps

There's a Twitter feed that shows an image of the presser, with behind the general the flags of these countries and forces: Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemen’s Ansarullah, Iraq’s Hashd Al-Sha’abi, Palestine’s Hamas, Afghanistan’s Fatemiyoun and Pakistan’s Zeinabayoun.

That feed is here:

This all confirms Escobar's information. It's clear that the US military took a massive hit and hustled the bodies and wounded to Israel and elsewhere and then put on the charade that all was well.

The US talked about "Shock and Awe" but Iran walked it for real.

The most gripping item from General Hajizadeh to me is that Iran expected retaliation from the US. They fired 13 missiles and had thousands ready. Iran expected a major war, lasting from 3 days to a week.

It is exactly as we surmised. Iran came ready for life and death equally, to give and to receive. No charade, no bluff, no fantasy, no hope, no fear.

This was so far out of the league of the US fantasy that the US didn't know what to do.

General Hajizadeh stated that this was not in trade for the lives of the martyrs. It will be as the Leader said. The Resistance will drive out the US from all of West Asia.


My apologies if this information has already been posted here. I have very little time lately and I can no longer read the comment threads. Not having read them, normally I wouldn't post, but I wanted to pass this info along for those who seek clarity.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 10 2020 2:28 utc | 553

Thank you, karlof1, for taking the time to point out the answer to my question. (When do you rest? - I hope some one is cooking you nutritious meals to sustain you!) And also thanks for Pepe's comments. I do trust his viewpoint!

I had gone over to the Duran and been quite depressed by Zuesse's claim that the instance I thought was well managed by Iran he felt was a huge mistake. I really can't see that the initial tragedy is in any way eclipsed by Iran's initial response. It still looms very large in my own mind, and I note that the House of Representatives has passed a resolution to prevent our non-leader from military action against Iran. I saw a post saying no worries, the Senate won't agree. I am not so sure about that. There have to be some consciences, even among the elite; and I would say damage control is paramount. Surely many in the Republican ranks would shudder at four more years of this kind of insanity, even if, as Prof. Hudson points out, the oil dollar is supposedly vital.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 10 2020 2:33 utc | 554

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 2:09 utc | 556

Just noticed that there is a new thread about Boeing 737 and my post should be there not here. Sorry for that. I have no objection if the admin move my post from here to the new thread.

Reference about the fact that Boeing 737 was heading back to the airport:
- Iranian Flight Captain Hooshang Shahbazi (35 years flight experience) in his interview with Tasnim News on 9.1.2020

Have a nice day.

Posted by: omid | Jan 10 2020 2:43 utc | 555

From Grieved's link in # 557 there are these quotes

General Hajizade: ‘After they unhonorably assassinated General Soleimani, they were completely and 100% prepared. 12 unmanned drones and several planes were protecting Ain Al-Asad airbase, but they couldn’t respond when we started the operation.’
General Hajizadeh, commander of IRGC’s Aerospace Force: “During the missile attack against the US military sites in the Ain Al-Asad airbase, we initiated a cyber attack that deactivated their jet fighters’ and drones’ aviation systems.”

I love the smell of empire dying of its hubris.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 10 2020 2:44 utc | 556

Jackrabbit #484

Probability that among the passengers was a valuable target/s that comprised a retaliation against the murder of Sulemani.

On the response to the murder of Suleimani

I am mindful that the missile attack on USA illegal occupation in Iraq has been likened to a slap in the face by Iranian leaders. This means the commencement of their response rather than the totality of it. Hezbollah leadership indicates the beginning of a process to throw the USA illegal occupation out. Months will go by and sporadic attacks will escalate in unforeseen ways. First though the USA air cover will be degraded by regular attacks or sabotage.

Without air cover the USA illegal occupiers and murderers will become a turkey shoot.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 10 2020 10:40 utc | 557

Today's Strategic Culture editorial's conclusion is very difficult to disagree with:

"It has to be said too that the concern goes way beyond the foibles of just one individual – Donald J Trump. It is much bigger, and more serious than that. It concerns the unhinged mentality of the entire U.S. government in its irremediable, belligerent view towards Iran and indeed towards the rest of the world." [My Emphasis]

And it must be remembered that the bolded behavior is ongoing now for over three+ generations and is only now finally meeting organized resistance from the countervailing force of the global community.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2020 16:43 utc | 558


In the Mid-East, a smart camel-ista throws his shirt at an irritated camel so the animal can chew on it and stomp it instead of the man who really pissed the beast off. The Bearded Ladies fired off some obsolescent missiles that were close to useless. Garbage disposal to provide a backdrop for the hissy fit. All noise. [with 1-2 hour warning] Big surprise!

I bet the Bearded Ladies remembered the U.S. "air shows" in S yria where Tommahawk missiles and an air amada appeared out of the blowing sand. And President Trump's comments about "cultural sites" was a warning that we knew where they planned to hide while the IRGC/Quds recruits were outside, harvesting fireballs to present to the brain-dead virgins that they hoped to receive.


Posted by: Mike-SMO | Jan 11 2020 15:32 utc | 559

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