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Missiles hit Iraq bases housing US troops; Iran claims responsibility

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE said he plans to address the country on Wednesday morning after Iran claimed responsibility for the launch of missiles at a pair of military bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops and coalition personnel, a marked escalation in the conflict between the two countries following the U.S.'s killing of a top Iranian general.

The Pentagon in a statement said Iran had "launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq," adding, "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."

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in the statement that the bases had been on high alert since the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.

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“We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq,” White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamThe Memo: Trump grapples with credibility gap in crisis President Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Secret recordings show Melania Trump was frustrated about criticism of Trump 2018 border separation policy: CNN MORE said in a statement. “The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the attacks "proportionate measures in self-defense" in a tweet Tuesday night, adding, "We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."

Trump tweeted moments later to declare that "all is well," adding, "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," he added. 

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Iraqi and U.S. officials later said that their forces suffered no casualties, according to The Associated Press.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE's (D-Calif) team also said it had been briefed on the matter, not long after Pelosi had met in the Capitol basement with the other members of the Gang of Eight for a briefing on the decision to launch the drone strike in Baghdad last week that killed Soleimani.

"We must ensure the safety of our servicemembers, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence," the Democratic leader tweeted Tuesday night. "America & world cannot afford war."

Pelosi had huddled earlier Tuesday with members of the Democratic Steering Committee in another part of the Capitol, where she was handed a note about the latest strike on the base in Iraq. She then left the meeting to gavel open the floor ahead of Tuesday evening's votes and four minutes later spoke by phone with Vice President Pence, who briefed her on "the Iranian attacks on facilities housing U.S. troops in Iraq," according to spokesman Drew Hammell.

A spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump to lift Sudan terror sponsor designation Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts The 2016 and 2020 Senate votes are about the same thing: constitutionalist judges MORE (N.Y.) said the Democratic leader had also received a briefing from Pence by phone shortly after 6 p.m. on the strikes. "Leader Schumer is closely monitoring the situation and is praying for the safety of our service members and other personnel," the spokesperson added.

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A spokesman for Pence said he has been "in continuous contact with the entire national security team" on the attacks and that he completed calls to congressional leaders at Trump's direction. 

Tehran vowed it would retaliate after the Friday killing of Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad. Shortly after the killing, Iraq’s parliament took a nonbinding vote to expel U.S. troops, while Trump vowed that if Iran retaliated, the U.S. would target sites of cultural significance to Iran before appearing to walk back the threat Tuesday.

Trump signaled earlier Tuesday that the U.S. would respond "strongly" to a retaliation by Iran. “If Iran does anything they shouldn’t be doing, they’re going to be suffering the consequences and very strongly,” Trump told reporters during an Oval Office meeting with the Greek prime minister.

Trump visited the base shortly after Christmas 2018 to visit U.S. troops, while Pence visited the base in November.

Saeed Jalili, who previously served as a nuclear negotiator for Tehran, tweeted an image of the Iranian flag as the report came in, an apparent reference to Trump's tweet of an image of the American flag shortly after the killing of Soleimani.

Mike Lillis, Morgan Chalfant and Jordain Carney contributed.

Last updated on Jan. 8 at 7:15 a.m.