President Trump offered the American people a brief update about the situation in Iraq Tuesday evening after Iran launched more than two dozen ballistic missiles at U.S. forces in the country.
“All is well!” he wrote on Twitter. “Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!”
The president added that he would be making a statement Wednesday morning.
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020
Prior to Trump's tweet White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the White House was aware of the situation and President Trump was consulting with his national security team.
We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq. The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) January 7, 2020
Pentagon Press Secretary Alyssa Farah said the two military bases targeted had been on high alert.
We are working on initial battle damage assessments. In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the @DeptofDefense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners.— Alyssa Farah (@PentagonPresSec) January 8, 2020
As we evaluate the situation & our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect & defend U.S. personnel, partners, & allies in the region."— Alyssa Farah (@PentagonPresSec) January 8, 2020
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also took to Twitter to warn that any further aggression will be met with another response.
Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 8, 2020
We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.
Iran's attack was in response to a U.S. airstrike killing Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.
In defending the decision to take out Soleimani, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday "his time was due."
"Soleimani was a terrorist leader of a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. He’s been conducting terrorist activities against us and our coalition partners for over 20 years," Esper said Tuesday. "He has the blood of hundreds of American soldiers on his hands and wounded thousands more. And we could talk about the mayhem he has caused against the Syrian people, the people of Lebanon, even his own people in Iran."
He continued: "This sense that somehow taking, somebody who by the way over the last few months had planned, orchestrated and/or resourced attacks against the United States that resulted in the killing of an American and the siege of our embassy in Baghdad, and was in Baghdad to coordinate additional attacks, to somehow suggest that he wasn’t a legitimate target I think is fanciful. He was clearly on the battlefield. He was conducting or preparing, planning military operations. He was a legitimate target and his time was due."
Soleimani, Trump said, was planning a “very big attack and a very bad attack for us and other people and we stopped it, and I don’t think anybody can complain about it.”