“Iran’s military response to the assassination of martyr Soleimani was strategic and limited but it displayed Iran’s power and capabilities,” General Salami said in an interview with the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel on Monday.
He added that Iran’s missile strike against Ein al-Assad in response to the US assassination of IRGC Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani left global impacts and shattered the superficial awe that the US had created for itself.
“Our action against the Americans was fully defensive. A legitimate and legal defense and a right that we had to materialize,” General Salami said.
Lieutenant General Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 3.
The airstrike also martyred Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.
Five Iranian and five Iraqi militaries were martyred by missiles fired by the US drone at Baghdad International Airport.
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.
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.