Iran also carried out a cyberattack on a US military monitoring service in Iraq. (Photo Credit: VideoGrab)
An Iranian military commander has said that missiles fired at bases used by US troops in Iraq were not aimed at inflicting casualties. He also said that Iran launched 13 missiles at bases in Iraq used by US troops early Wednesday "but we were ready to launch hundreds". Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who leads Iran’s aerospace program, told state television that Iran also carried out a cyberattack on a US military monitoring service in Iraq while the missile were landing at their intended targets.
Ali said that while dozens of US forces were killed and wounded in the attacks Iran was "not after killing anyone in this operation". Ali's statement seems to be another sign that Iran was not intending to escalate hostilities with the United States.
The US has said no Americans were killed in the missile strike.
Iran and the United States had come close to an open war after US military killed Iran's top commander Major General Qasem Soleimani on the orders of President Donald Trump. Soleimani was the commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s elite expeditionary Quds Force and Iran’s most prominent military leader.
Iran had launched the missile strikes in retaliation of the killing. The Iranian state television had claimed that "at least 80 terrorist US soldiers" were killed after bases at Ain al-Asad and Arbil in Iraq - which house US and coalition forces - were targeted by more than a dozen ballistic missiles.
US President Donald Trump, however, said that no Americans were harmed in these attacks. In his first address after the attacks, Trump also said that "Iran appeared to be standing down" after launching the missile attacks.
In a direct message to the Iranian leaders and the people, Trump said the United States is "ready to embrace peace with all who seek it". "To the people and leaders of Iran, we want you to have a future and a great future, one that you deserve," Trump said.
Tehran had said it had halted its missile strikes, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeting that the country does "not seek escalation or war".