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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Iranian ‘attack’ on American airbases: Iraq confirms, US denies

The US Defense Special Missile and Aerospace Center collected intelligence information on the Iranian attack using different technological tools

Iran fired several missiles at US bases in Iraq last night to avenge the killing of its commander Qasem Soleimani. It has also claimed that 80 US soldiers have been killed in this attack. However, the US has rejected the claim and has not confirmed the death of any soldier. It would be interesting to know whether the Iranian forces chose the wrong targets or the American soldiers had already got a whiff of ​​the attack.

Interestingly, hours after the attack, the Iraqi prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi al-Muntafiki said that Iran had already informed them about the attack last night. The Iraqi prime minister’s spokesman said that PM Abdel received a call from Tehran telling him that retaliation would be taken to avenge the killing of his top general. However, it is not clear whether the Iraqi PM leaked this information to the US.

The Iraqi prime minister says that he was told that the location of the American Forces would be targeted only, but where the attack would take place, it was not clearly stated. It was further reported that after the attack on their bases in the night, the Iraqi prime minister received a call from the US and informed the Americans about the situation.

US’s basis of denying Iranian attack

According to US officials, soldiers had already received a missile attack warning due to their modern detection system, which caused them to hide in their bunker. An official has said that American soldiers in Iraq were alerted to the threat through the Early Warning System. Information is gathered in real-time about the launching of missiles at Fort Med Base in Maryland, US.

According to a report of the Daily Mail, defence sources said that the soldiers had received a warning when the missiles were 600 miles away. They hid in their respective bunkers. Iranian forces fired a dozen missiles at Ain al-Assad and Erbil bases in the early hours of Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump, who has hardly ever sounded like shying away from a war, has not only denied reports of casualties to American soldiers, but military officials have pointed out that the Pentagon’s early warning system alerted soldiers to a possible threat.

There is a base in Maryland of the National Security Agency, which collects such information. The Defense Special Missile and Aerospace Center collected intelligence information on Iranian missile attack last night using a different range of satellites, radars and heat detection.

After the attack on the US airbase, supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed the country and recalled Commander Sulaimani. He said that the attack was successful and we have slapped America’s pride last night. Khamenei also said that Iran will never forget the martyrdom of General Suleimani.

How this centre works

  • The Defence Special Missile and the Astronautics Center at the NSA headquarters in Maryland has been operating under the Pentagon since 1964.
  • It is active 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
  • In the 1970s, information about Soviet missiles and space launches were collected from this centre.
  • Later it started working as a global detection system.
  • At the time of the Gulf War in 1991, this centre grabbed news headlines every day.

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