Politics, World, Europe

No casualties reported among troops: European countries

UK, Poland, Denmark, Lithuania, Norway, Italy, NATO say they are not reported any casualties after Iran’s missile attacks

Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak   | 08.01.2020
No casualties reported among troops: European countries Zulfiqar and Qiam ballistic missiles, targeting Syria, are launched by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in Kermanshah, Iran on October 01, 2018. Missiles were reported to hit Abu Kamal town of Syria's Deir ez-Zor province. ( SepahNews / Handout - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA 

In the wake of Iran’s missile attack on two U.S. military bases in Iraq, some European countries said no casualties was reported among their troops. 

Early Wednesday, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq.

The missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two military bases where U.S. military and coalition personnel are stationed, at Al-Asad and Erbil.

Iran said Wednesday’s attack came in response to the U.S. killing of Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force of IRGC, last week.

Today’s attacks continued a series of tit-for-tat recriminations between the U.S. and Iranian-backed forces that began with the killing of an American contractor at a U.S. base in Iraq late last month.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the attack in a written statement and voiced concern for possible casualties and the use of ballistic missiles.

“We urge Iran not to repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks, and instead to pursue urgent de-escalation,” he said.

“A war in the Middle East would only benefit Daesh and other terrorist groups,” it added.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak also said no Polish troops was hurt in the Iranian attacks.

“None of the Polish soldiers in Iraq were hurt in rocket attacks on Al-Asad and Erbil bases. We are in constant contact with the commander of the Polish Military Contingent in Iraq," Blaszczak said on Twitter.

Separately, the Danish Armed Forces and Lithuanian Defense Ministry said none of their troops were injured or killed in the strike.

Norway’s Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen also confirmed in a written statement that some 70 soldiers of them in Iraq are safe.

“I am deeply concerned about the dramatic escalation we have seen in recent days. I urge all parties to help calm the situation down and prevent it from escalating out of control,” said the statement.

Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi di Maio called for restraint amid the heightened tension in the region.

“We reiterate our firm appeal to all actors to exercise restraint and refrain from further mutual provocation. Instead, political and diplomatic efforts must be intensified to normalise the situation and restore security in the area,” said the statement.

Maio ruled out “military option” to solve the crisis, saying: “Further instability in the region will have direct and long-term consequences on security on a global scale.”

Also, an anonymous NATO official told Anadolu Agency that there are no casualties among the alliance’s personnel in the Iraqi training mission.

And, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned Iran’s attack on Twitter.

“I condemn the Iranian missile attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. NATO calls on Iran to refrain from further violence. Allies continue to consult & remain committed to our training mission in Iraq,” he said. 

According to the Iran state-run television, 80 U.S. citizens killed in the ballistic missile attacks on Iraqi military bases.


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