Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh disclosed on Thursday that IRGC forces had prepared to strike 400 American targets had the Pentagon embarked on retaliating Iran’s missile strikes on the US airbase at Ein Al-Assad in South-West Iraq early in January.
“After the reprisal attack on Ein al-Assad base, we thought that the Americans would respond; so, we had prepared ourselves to attack 400 places in case they attacked again. We thought they would attack within 20-30 minutes. But they didn’t dare.” Hajizadeh said.
“By assassinating Lt. Gen. Soleimani, they wished to show that they killed a symbol of Resistance and they were sure Iran would not respond to their attack,” he added.
He went on to say that the United States has an outward appearance which is a show-off and a reality. It is we who know the reality. “The US cannot do a damn thing as Imam Khomeini said and the Supreme Leader says,” General Hajizadeh further said.
Addressing the successful launch of the first Iran-made military satellite to the space by IRGC, he said, “Developed countries have faced many failures in the course, but we were successful in the first step.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has gained these capabilities in recent years and with the help of Almighty God we will rapidly take the next steps,” he said stressing that solid-fuel launchers are equipped with the state-of-the-art technology in the world.
“Today, it is no more an option to gain access to the space and use it. It is an inevitable necessity and we should find our position in the space,” the top commander added.
“We have attained great achievements in the field of missiles and defense in the world, and today we have successfully entered the space arena. I should say that the hindrances have been removed from our course and from now on we will move faster,” he reiterated.
He emphasized that such breakthroughs remind us of the selfless efforts and bright achievements gained by such figures like Hassan Tehrani Moghadam and other martyrs.
On January 8, the IRGC Aerospace Force started heavy ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a US operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the US assassination of General Soleimani.
Lieutenant General Soleimani and Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were assassinated in a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 3.
Ein Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels, which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles. Unofficial reports said the US army’s central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.
The second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a US military base near Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of “Martyr Soleimani” reprisal operation.
Iraq said the attacks had not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases. The US army had blocked entrance into Ein Al-Assad to everyone, including the Iraqi army.
It was the first direct attack on the US army ever since world war two.
The IRGC officials said none of the missiles had been intercepted.