Rep. Schweikert says direct attack on US forces ‘change of pattern’ for Iran
PHOENIX — A retaliatory attack from Iran against United States troops in Iraq on Tuesday caught the eye of one Arizona politician because of its direct nature.
Republican Rep. David Schweikert said the firing of a series of surface-to-surface missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops isn’t how Iran typically operates.
“This is a big change in their pattern,” Schweikert told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Chad Benson Show on Tuesday. “They typically use proxies to carry out their deeds and they have a pretty sophisticated proxy network.”
According to a report on Tuesday by the semi-official Tasnim news agency, Iran has worked up 13 sets of plans to avenge the death of top general Qasem Soleimani, who was killed on Friday.
The report quoted Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, as saying that even the weakest among them would be a “historic nightmare” for the U.S.
What happens next is unknown, but Iran warned the U.S. against further retaliation after the attack in Iraq.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned the U.S. and its regional allies against retaliating over the missile attack against the Ain Assad air base in Iraq’s western Anbar province.
The Guard issued the warning via a statement carried by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency.
“We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted,” The Guard said.
Schweikert said he hasn’t been briefed on recent conflicts but that a “big briefing” was scheduled for Wednesday in Washington.
“This is going to be an interesting moment of chess with a lot of moving parts,” Schweikert said.
Other Arizona politicians reacted to the attack with well wishes for U.S. troops overseas.
Praying for our men and women overseas and for their loved ones back home. Keep them close tonight. 🇺🇸
— Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (@RepDLesko) January 8, 2020
Praying for our military men & women deployed in the Middle East and their families at home. 🇺🇸
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) January 8, 2020
U.S. officials confirmed the strikes, though Iran only initially acknowledged targeting one base. There was no immediate word on injuries.
A spokesperson for the Norwegian Armed Forces told AP in a phone interview that about 70 Norwegian troops were on the airbase, but no injuries have been reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.