IRAN launched a multiple missile attack against two bases in Iraq that contain US troops and other coalition forces on Wednesday night in retaliation for the murder last week of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
The Al-Asad airbase in Iraq’s Anbar province was hit 17 times by ballistic missiles, with a further five missiles hitting a base in the northern city of Irbil.
According to a US military official in Baghdad, initial assessments showed ‘no US casualties’ while other countries with troops in the two bases – including the UK, Australia and Canada – also reported that none of their personnel had been killed or injured.
This absence of any casualties caused by this missile strike was confirmed by Trump, who tweeted immediately after the attack:
‘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!’
Iran’s attack on these bases was not unexpected and, in fact, the US and its imperialist allies had knowledge of the impending attack and made provisions for their troops’ safety, having been warned by the Iraqi government.
The Iraqi prime minister has confirmed that he was alerted by the Iranian authorities prior to the missile launch and notified both bases and in any event they were likely targets of an inevitable retaliation by Iran. It is also clear that as far as the Iranian government is concerned this was the very minimum response, given the anger and hatred of US imperialism amongst the Iranian people.
It was a response that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called ‘a slap in the face’ to the United States. Khamenei stressed, ‘Military action like this is not sufficient. What is important is ending the corrupting presence of America in the region.’
Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, echoed this, making it clear that the missile strikes had ‘concluded’ and that they were ‘proportionate measures in self-defence’, not an act of war.
In a tweet, Zarif said, ‘Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defence under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials was launched. We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.’
The Iranian government are correct to avoid the all-out war that Trump and US imperialism is desperately attempting to provoke.
The US wants to do to Iran what it did to Vietnam, Cambodia and then Iraq and Libya after 2003, devastating these countries with their poison gas, their missiles and their bombs.
Avoiding an outright confrontation on imperialism’s terms is far from running away and demonstrates wisdom on the part of the Iranian leadership.
The fact is that defeating and overthrowing US imperialism along with its allies in the UK is not just a job for the Iranian and Iraqi people – it is a job for the working class and people of the world.
Creating a million martyrs in Iran will not destroy imperialism – only the victory of the world socialist revolution can put an end to imperialism and imperialist war and there has never been a more auspicious time for socialist revolution than today.
Imperialism, despite its military strength, is in desperate crisis as America along with Europe and the rest of the capitalist world enters the year facing the collapse of industry and the inevitable dive into recession.
The only way out for capitalism is to prop up the banks through printing trillions of dollars of worthless paper money while driving the working class into the gutter through savage austerity.
The war against the Iranian people for control of the country’s oil is taking place under conditions where the capitalist class are waging war against the working class at home to dump the crisis on their backs.
There has never been a better time to build revolutionary parties of the Fourth International in every country to lead the world socialist revolution to victory and put an end to imperialism and its wars. The revolutionary unity of the working class of the world with the oppressed nations is the key to the revolutionary way forward.