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First Satellite Photos Showing Results of Iran Attack on US Base Emerge

Dawn in Iraq revealed to the world the damage done by Iran in its attack on Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq, which is home to American troops.

At around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday local time in Iraq, Iran unleashed a missile barrage at al-Asad and another base in Irbil. The missile aimed at Irbil missed, while satellite photos showed that least seven buildings in five areas of the base were damaged at al-Assad.

No Americans were injured.

The photos of the site were taken by Planet Labs, a private company, and shared by the California-based Middlebury Institute for International Studies.

“Some of the locations struck look like the missiles hit dead center,” said David Schmerler, an analyst with the Middlebury Institute, according to NPR.

Schmerler said that although the images show the outcome of the attack, they do not reveal its full motivation.

“The buildings we’re tallying now seem to be used for storing aircraft,” he told NPR. “There are other structures at the air base that would be exclusively for people so maybe they intended to strike sites with equipment over people.”

Another Middlebury analyst disagreed.

Should the United States retaliate for this attack?

“They targeted the American portion of the base. They meant to hit it and they did hit it,” Jeffrey Lewis said, according to Reuters.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley also said Iran’s barrage was more than symbolic.

“I believe based on what I saw and what I know that they were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and equipment and aircraft and to kill personnel, that’s my own personal assessment,” he said, according to CNN.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said Iran telegraphed its punch by providing a warning to Iraq, allowing personnel at the base to take cover.

The Washington Post, citing what it called “U.S. military officials” it did not name, said American forces knew about the coming strike hours in advance and were in fortified bunkers when the missiles fell.

During his White House speech to the nation Wednesday, President Donald Trump said that, “The American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases,” according to a White House media pool report.

“Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world. No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well. I salute the incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform,” Trump said.

In his speech, Trump said Iran must change its ways.

“Peace and stability cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence, unrest, hatred, and war. The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer.

“It will not be allowed to go forward,” Trump said.