Iran’s former defence minister says the January 8 missile attack that the IRGC launched on the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Iraq has killed at least 70 American forces and injured 200 others.
In remarks at a conference in Iran’s central city of Isfahan on January 23, Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said the American casualties in the ballistic missile attack launched by the IRGC on the US airbase in retaliation for the assassination of Lt. General Qassem Soleimani are much heavier than what the US authorities have announced.
“(US President Donald) Trump is hiding the truth, while we are confident that the missile attack on the American base has left at least 70 killed and 200 injured,” said Vahidi, who is the President of the Supreme National Defence University of Iran.
On the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran hours after the IRGC missile attack on the US base, General Vahidi said downing of the jetliner occurred under the conditions of war, and the Islamic Republic could have refused to publicize the cause of the crash that happened in war conditions, in the same way that the US administration hid the truth about the casualties caused by Iran’s missile strike.
He also noted that Iran has launched a probe to investigate every possibility in the crash of the passenger plane, such as a hacking attack.
The general further provided a description of the Islamic Republic’s raison d’être and its struggle for independence, saying the concept of Western policy does not apply to the US alone.
“One should not imagine that the other countries, like China and Russia, differ from the US in materialistic and ideological terms despite the difference in the policies, while they are all materialists,” he noted.
General Vahidi said the victory of the Islamic Revolution gave birth to the “hub of Islam” that ended the dominance of the Western and Eastern hubs, describing the Revolution as a humanitarian action that created “intellectual independence” beyond a mere political movement.
“When you take a path alone, the arrogance strives to create a shadow government, like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the US who created the Taliban as an ideological rival for the Islamic Republic and strongly supported it, to the extent that the Taliban had an office even in the US. But after a while, they had to fight against them (the Taliban) to prevent them from gaining too much power,” the former defence minister added.
Thereafter, he noted, the enemies hatched a plot to establish secularism in Iran under the guise of moderate Islam, until certain parties claimed that the Revolution was no more a main subject and the focus must be shifted onto economy.
The general also said that when the George W. Bush administration invaded Iraq, it announced plans to turn Iraq into a model for the region, and Washington repeated the same mistake in dealing with Egypt after its failure in Iraq. “Ultimately, they (Americans) are doomed to eviction from the regional countries despite an expenditure of more than $8,000 billion.”
“The Westerners created Daesh (ISIS) and openly supported it, which was a more vicious model than the Taliban and had plans to disrupt the nations and come to Iran after Syria and Lebanon. Under such circumstances, the very same great martyr, General Soleimani, thwarted those plots, which is why the US and the other enemies held such great grudge against him,” Vahidi added.
Iran on January 8 launched a missile strike on the US’ Ain al-Asad military base in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Lt. General Qassem Soleimani. While the White House denied any casualties in the strike, the Pentagon has reported recently that 34 US troops have suffered brain injuries from the missile strike.
New Details of US Casualties in Ain al-Assad Attack
Meanwhile, new reports suggest that a number of injured American troops have been taken to Germany and the US.
The official aerial images indicate that exactly a few hours after the Iranian missile attack, the injured troops and possibly the dead bodies had been airlifted from Baghdad to Germany.
Reports suggest that a C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft, used for carrying the injured and dead bodies, had departed from Germany for Iraq at 11:20 am local time on January 8 –some 10 hours after the Iranian missile attack- and had flown back to Germany 11 hours later.
After landing in Germany and staying there for a couple of hours, the military plane had reportedly travelled directly to the US and had landed in Camp Springs Air Base in Maryland.
The US had initially announced that the Iranian missile strike has left no casualties, but it was officially announced nine days later that 11 injured American soldiers have been deployed in order to receive treatment.
A few days after the initial reports about the American casualties, the Pentagon admitted that 34 US troops have been injured, eight of whom have been transferred to the US due to their critical health, according to Nour News, an Iranian news agency which is said to be close to the Supreme National Security Council.