Iran Supreme Leader Says Revenge Missile Strikes 'Not Enough'
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has gloated about the recent missile strike on U.S. targets, saying they were a slap in the face to America, but they're "not enough".
Speaking hours after the strike, the supreme leader said during an address to the nation "we slapped them (Americans) on the face last night," but "military action is not enough".
Khamenei added: “the corrupt presence of the U.S. in the region should come to an end."
The strike, which Iran state television claimed killed at least 80 Americans, was revenge for the U.S killing of Iran’s top military commander in Baghdad.
Iran's claims came hours after the U.S. declared there were no casualties and President Trump said “all is well” following the strikes.
ISNA tweeted the claim on Wednesday afternoon (Australian time), claiming "80 American terrorists" had been killed, and that a number of drones and helicopters had also been damaged in attacks on military bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces.
Trump had tweeted a positive assessment of the damage, saying "so far, so good". He promised to deliver an update on Wednesday morning U.S. time.
"We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning," he said.
Fears of another war in the Middle East have increased after the huge missile strike targeting Americans.
U.S. officials said, "more than a dozen ballistic missiles" had been launched at two bases in Iraq housing American military forces -- at al-Asad and Erbil.
Iranian reported earlier its military had taken responsibility for the missile strike on the al-Asad airbase in Iraq, an important American military installation in the region.
The country's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed its air force had launched "tens" of missiles.
It comes days after Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani was killed in an American strike -- an attack Iran promised "crushing revenge" in response to.
Khamenei said Soleimani was a “great, brave warrior” and “a dear friend to us.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australian officials were monitoring the situation and working to ensure the safety of Australians in the region.
He told a press conference "all Australian diplomatic personnel and all [Australian Defence Force] personnel are safe."
The U.S. Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Jonathan Hoffman, said that American officials were still trying to ascertain the extent of the damage.
"It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil," he said.
"We are working on initial battle damage assessments."