Iran attacks bases housing US troops

By Meg Wagner, Ivana Kottasová, Mike Hayes, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 0731 GMT (1531 HKT) January 9, 2020
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11:37 a.m. ET, January 8, 2020

Trump: We must all work together to make a deal with Iran

President Trump criticized the Iran nuclear deal as "very defective."

Iran announced Wednesday it was partially withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

"The very defective JCPOA expires shortly, anyway, and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout. Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism," Trump said.

Trump called on other allies to "break away" from the deal

"We must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place," he said.

11:35 a.m. ET, January 8, 2020

Trump: Soleimani "was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him"

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

Trump described the Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani killed in a US strike last week as "the world's top terrorist."

"He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of US troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims." 

Trump said Soleimani directed the recent attacks on US personnel in Iraq that "badly wounded four service members and killed one American" and he orchestrated "the violent assault" on the US Embassy on Baghdad.

"In recent days he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him," Trump said.
11:36 a.m. ET, January 8, 2020

Trump: "Iran appears to be standing down"

President Trump said US forces are "prepared for anything," but for now, "Iran appears to be standing down."

"Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world," Trump said.

Watch Trump's opening remarks:

11:30 a.m. ET, January 8, 2020

Trump says US suffered no casualties in attack

Trump said, "No Americans were harmed in last night's attack by the Iranian regime." 

"We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases." 
11:29 a.m. ET, January 8, 2020

Trump: "Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon"

President Trump just began his remarks with this quote:

"As long as I'm President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon."
11:28 a.m. ET, January 8, 2020

President Trump is addressing the nation now

The President is speaking from the White House about Iran. Watch it live above. We will also be posting highlights here.

11:21 a.m. ET, January 8, 2020

Iran's choice of missile ensured Americans would have a warning

Analysis from CNN's Nick Paton Walsh

Jeremy Binnie, the Middle East and Africa editor at British military magazine Jane's Defence Weekly, said the choice of what was likely a Qiam ballistic missile carried some risk — but it also likely ensured several minutes of warning for the Americans when the attack hit their radars. 

"The attack on Saudi Arabia last year used cruise missiles and UAVs, while these were ballistic missiles." he said. "That might have been a deliberate decision to minimize damage, as the Iranians would have known that the ballistic trajectories could be picked up much more easily by radars, providing early warning of the attack"  

About the Qiam missile: Binnie said that, according to images released, the missile recovered near Ain al-Assad Air Base was a Qiam, a type that was "recently upgraded with a new re-entry vehicle that has fins so that it can steer itself towards its target" 

He said these missiles had been used before to attack ISIS and Kurdish rebels in Iraq, "but their accuracy and reliability was spotty."

"Some missiles failed to reach the target area, while others missed their apparent targets," Binnie said. "If the Iranians were aiming for uninhabited areas at the Iraqi bases, there consequently was still some risk they would accidentally hit a bunker where coalition personnel were sheltering."

Some background: There is a growing belief among some US officials that Iran's missiles intentionally missed areas populated by Americans , multiple Trump administration officials said.

Read more here.

11:09 a.m. ET, January 8, 2020

Democratic senators introduce resolution "condemning Trump's threats to attack cultural sites in Iran"

From CNN's Clare Foran 

A group of Democratic senators, including 2020 hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have introduced a Senate resolution “condemning Trump’s threats to attack cultural sites in Iran and demanding the President refrain from violating the laws of armed conflict.”

Some context: Yesterday, Trump appeared to backtrack on his earlier threat to target Iran's cultural sites — an action that would violate international law and is viewed as a war crime.

"If that's what the law is -- I like to obey the law. But think of it, they kill our people, they blow up our people and then we have to be very gentle with their cultural institutions," Trump said yesterday.

Trump originally made the threat to the sites on Saturday, tweeting that the US had "targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture."

"if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets... Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD," he added.

11:10 a.m. ET, January 8, 2020

Satellite images show damage from the strikes

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

CNN has obtained satellite images from Planet Labs, Inc. that appear to show damage from Iranian missile strikes at al Asad Air Base in Iraq. 

Four buildings on the base appear damaged. It also appears a missile hit one of the runways at the airbase.