Iran Escalates to De-escalate, but signals widening of conflict with the US
Iran’s Supreme Leader calls for eviction of the US from the region, thus despite President Trumps indication of a pullback gradual widening of conflict possible
In the first step of revenge on the US over assassination of Lt. General Soleimani Iran’s IRGC force fired tens of ballistic missile at Al-Asad base in Iraq. Ayn al Asad is an Iraqi air base that the US forces are stationed.
Iran claimed that 80 US soldiers were killed in the missile attacks however reports from the ground indicate that there were no losses including to the Iraqi forces.
Iran had informed Iraq about the raids and possibly the targets thus protective measures had been taken avoiding fatalities which could have led to the conflict spiraling out of control
While the US President Donald Trump in his address on 08 January appeared to be reconciliatory saying, “ Finally, 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”, additional sanctions announced in the same speech are likely to be counter productive.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the other hand has called for widening of the conflict with the US to deny the US presence in the region.
“This region does not accept presence of the United States. The people in the region and the regional governments rising from the people do not accept this issue,” he said during a speech in Qom. “A slap was delivered last night,” the Leader remarked referring to the missile attacks. “The issue of revenge is another issue. They were slapped last night which is another issue. Such military actions will not be enough. The United States’ corruptive presence in the region must come to an end. They have brought war, sedition, destruction, and also destruction of infrastructures to the region
After the missile strikes in Iraq, the IRGC also issued a warning to all US allies that have their military bases to the terrorist US forces. “Any land that becomes the source of aggressive and hostile measures against the Islamic Republic will be targeted.”
IRGC said it would not differentiate between the US and Israel in retaliating against the assassination of the Iranian national hero.
“We advise the American people to withdraw American soldiers from the region to prevent further damages.”