Washington: President Donald Trump warned Saturday that the US is targeting 52 sites in Iran and will hit them “very fast and very hard” if the Islamic republic attacks American personnel or assets.
Taking to Twitter, US President Donald Trump said the US recently spent two trillion dollars on military equipment and if Iran attacks US and its assets it “will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way”.
The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way…and without hesitation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2020
In a tweet defending Friday’s drone strike assassination of a top Iranian general in Iraq, Trump said 52 represents the number of Americans held hostage at the US embassy in Tehran for more than a year starting in late 1979.
Trump said some of these sites are “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”
….targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
Trump took to Twitter after pro-Iran factions ramped up pressure on US installations across Iraq with missiles and warnings to Iraqi troops — part of an outburst of fury over the killing of Soleimani, described as the second most-powerful man in Iran.
The attack has prompted fears of a major conflagration in the Middle East.
In the first hints of a possible retaliatory response, two mortar rounds hit an area near the US embassy in Baghdad on Saturday, security sources told AFP.
Almost simultaneously, two rockets slammed into the Al-Balad airbase where American troops are deployed, security sources said.
The Iraqi military confirmed the missile attacks in Baghdad and on al-Balad and said there were no casualties.
The US military also said no coalition troops were hurt.
With Americans wondering fearfully if, how and where Iran will hit back for the assassination, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin that said “at this time there is no specific, credible threat against the homeland.”
Pro-Iran faction urges Iraqi troops ‘get away’ from US forces
Kataeb Hezbollah, a hardline pro-Iran faction in Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi military network, warned Iraqi troops to keep their distance from US forces at military bases.
“We ask security forces in the country to get at least 1,000 metres away from US bases starting on Sunday at 5:00pm (1930 IST),” said the group.
The vehemently anti-American group’s statement came after mortars and rockets hit near the US embassy and a base where US troops are stationed.
Mortar rounds hit an area near the US embassy in Baghdad on Saturday evening, security sources told AFP.