Satellite images show base damage after Iran launched a missile attack on US and coalition forces in Iraq
"Maybe they intended to strike sites with equipment over people."
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider
Satellite images show the damage after Iran launched more than a dozen missiles at bases housing US and coalition forces in Iraq early Wednesday morning — an attack that caused some damage but did not result in casualties.
The images, taken by Planet Labs and first reported by NPR, show that multiple structures at Al-Asad Air Base were hit during the attack.
The base facilities that were damaged in the strike appear to house equipment and aircraft rather than personnel, Dave Schmerler, an analyst with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, told NPR.
“Maybe they intended to strike sites with equipment over people,” he said.
US officials, according to CNN and others, have said evidence suggests that Iran may have been intentionally trying to avoid causing casualties that could drive the US to retaliate with force.
Speaking Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that there were no American casualties and characterized the damage to the targeted installations as “minimal.”
“The American people should be extremely grateful and happy,” Trump said in a speech at the White House. “No Americans or Iraqi lives were lost because of precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well.”
The Pentagon has been unwilling to share details about the nature of the early warning system used to protect US troops from harm, but CBS News, citing a defense official, reports that the US had “multiple hours” to prepare thanks to satellites and signals and communications intercepts.
In his address responding to the Iranian missile attack, Trump said that Iran “appears to be standing down” and opted for sanctions over military action.
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