8 January 2020, from about 1:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. (UTC+03:00)
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force
11 Qiam 1 missiles hit Ayn al-Asad Airbase
110 U.S. military personnel wounded (traumatic brain injury)
Ayn al-Asad Airbase
Location of the targets hit
Iraqi insurgency (2017–present)
Battles and operations
Major insurgent attacks
Jan 2021 Baghdad
K-1 Air Base
2019 U.S. bombing of Kata'ib Hezbollah
Attack on U.S. embassy in Baghdad
Assassination of Qasem Soleimani
Operation Martyr Soleimani
Feb 2021 U.S. bombing of Kata'ib Hezbollah
Jun 2021 U.S. bombing of Kata'ib Hezbollah
On 8 January 2020, in a military operation code named Operation Martyr Soleimani (Persian: عملیات شهید سلیمانی), Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched over 12 ballistic missiles at the Ayn al-Asad airbase in Al Anbar Governorate, western Iraq, as well as another airbase in Erbil, in response to the assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani by a United States drone strike.
The strike was the largest ballistic missile attack ever against Americans. Initially, the U.S. was not willing to concede the seriousness of the attack. While it initially assessed that none of its service members were injured or killed, the U.S. Department of Defense ultimately said that 110 service members had been diagnosed and treated for traumatic brain injuries (mainly concussions) from the attack. Some of them were later awarded the Purple Heart.
Iran reportedly informed the Iraqi government of an imminent attack shortly beforehand. Some analysts suggested the strike was deliberately designed to avoid causing any fatalities in order to dissuade an armed American response. However, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the attack was intended to kill. The U.S. said it was able to avoid fatalities due to early warning provided by the United States Space Force.
Hours after the missile attacks, during a state of high alert, IRGC forces mistakenly shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, killing 176 people.
In the months following the attack, the U.S. deployed Patriot and other missile defense systems to some of their Iraqi bases.
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^Mizokami, Kyle (8 January 2020). "Did Iran Intentionally Avoid Killing U.S. Soldiers in Last Night's Missile Attack?". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
^Number of US troops wounded in Iran attack now at 110: Pentagon ABS News, 22 February 2020
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^60 Minutes (28 February 2021), Never-before-seen video of the attack on Al Asad Airbase, retrieved 9 December 2021
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^"US troops were injured in Iran missile attack despite Pentagon initially saying there were no casualties". CNN. 16 January 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
^Rubin, Alissa J.; Fassihi, Farnaz; Schmitt, Eric; Yee, Vivian (7 January 2020). "Iran Fires on U.S. Forces at 2 Bases in Iraq, Calling It 'Fierce Revenge'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
^Cite error: The named reference Iraq warning was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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^Baker, Peter (8 January 2020). "Trump Backs Away From Further Military Conflict With Iran". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
^Safi, Michael (8 January 2020). "Iran's assault on US bases in Iraq might satisfy both sides". The Guardian.
^Kamal Ayash; John Davison (13 January 2020). "Hours of forewarning saved U.S., Iraqi lives from Iran's missile attack". Reuters. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
^"For Missile Warning in Iraq, Thank the Space Force". 27 February 2020.
^"Number of US troops wounded in Iran attack now at 110: Pentagon". France 24. 22 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
^Cite error: The named reference NewAA was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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