Eleven American troops were injured besides Apache helicopters and hangers destroyed, when Iranian missiles hit the Ain al-Asad Air base in Iraq on January 8, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
The missiles used in the operation were upgraded Fateh (range 500 km) and Qiam (range 800 km) which struck their targets with an accuracy of a few meters, Iranian media said quoting state sources.
“While no US service members were killed in the Jan 8 Iranian attack on al-Asad Air base, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed,” US Central Command spokesman Captain Bill Urban said in a statement.
Dave Schmerler, an analyst at Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), said that the missiles hit its Iraqi targets with “precision.” Earlier reports suggested that the Iran deliberately fired missiles only at structures that hosted military equipment, to miss the ones that had US and coalition troops inside.
The missiles struck nearly six buildings, each of which have a capacity to house two AH-64 Apache helicopters. Satellite images taken after the attack show “blackened scorch marks suggesting that the assets inside them were destroyed with the shelter itself,” wrote PressTV.
“Multiple helicopters present at the targeted Iraqi air base were destroyed to the point of being split in half,” the report said, citing a Danish coalition soldier stationed at the garrison.
Also, the drones owned by the US-led coalition were reportedly being “rendered inoperable” after the Iranian missiles directly hit the base’s UAV operations center and destroyed the fiber lines which connect remote stations to satellite communication equipment (needed for drone control and visuals).