Wednesday, 08 January 2020
No Belgian soldiers were injured in Iran’s attack on two military bases in Iraq where members of a Us-led coalition are stationed, the Belgian Defence Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.
The attack on the Iraqi bases, located near the northern city of Mosul and the capital Baghdad, comes after Defence Minister Philippe Goffin said that the “handful” of Belgian soldiers in Iraq had been ordered to remain in their bases until further notice.
The Belgian contingent stationed in Iraq as part of a US-led coalition is reportedly made up of less than 10 Belgian soldiers, which the defence ministry said had been unharmed in the attack, HLN reports.
Iran said it launched 22 ballistic missiles in the early hours of Wednesday on the Erbil and Al-Asad bases, in a retaliatory attack over the US’ targetted killing of top Iranian general Qassim Soleimani.
While Iranian media said 80 “American terrorists” had been killed in the attack, international media reported that there were no immediate indications of American casualties, with Reuters reporting that US officials had declined to comment.
After the strike, US President Donald Trump tweeted: “All is well!” and announced he would be making a statement in the course of Wednesday.
Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said on Twitter that the attack had been carried out as a proportionate “self-defence” measure, citing a UN charter, and urged the US not to respond, saying Iran was not seeking further escalation.
In an address after the attack, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called the attack a “slap in the face” to the US adding that it must put an end to the US’ “corrupting” presence in the region.
The Brussels Times