Satellite Photos Show Damage From Iranian Missile Attack On US Airbase In Iraq


National Public Radio (NPR) circulated the first satellite images that revealed the aftermath of an Iranian missile strike at the Ain Assad Air Base located in Anbar Province, the largest governorate in Iraq. The military airbase hosts Iraqi, American, and British armed forces.

NPR obtained the photos from Planet Labs, a private American imaging company, through the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and the pictures exposed the extent of damage to at least five structures at the airbase from Tuesday night’s missile attack.

David Schmerler, an analyst from the graduate school within Middlebury College informed NPR that the high-resolution satellite images of the base taken after the strike showed how the projectiles directly hit certain locations. It appeared the airstrike on government land was precisely targeted.

Schmerler added that the Iranians appeared to have purposely targeted structures on the base that would cause the least number of deaths to avoid airstrike retaliation from the United States. According to the analyst, the buildings hit by the missiles were used to store aircraft and equipment. There were other structures at the base that were exclusively for military personnel, and it was likely the Iranians deliberately chose to wipe out machines over people.


Chief Investment Strategist Salman Ahmed of Lombard Odier Investment Managers commented that while the images of the attack were visually dramatic, it was important to center on the absence of human casualties during the strike which gives an opportunity to alleviate the situation.

Jeffery Lewis who teaches at Middlebury Institute tweeted snapshots of the outcome of the missile attack. Based on his before and after photos, it seemed that two missiles struck a cluster of tents situated beside three helicopters.

Yuri Lyamin, a Twitter user who is not associated with Middlebury Institute, shared a Plant Labs satellite image of the airbase, taken on January 8th and in a much broader view. Lyamin marked nine specific sites that were possibly ravaged by the Iranian missile attack.

Soon after the attacks on Tuesday night, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.”


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