Iran Missile Hits on U.S. Military Targets in Iraq Were Precise, Satellite Images Show

Tehran's strikes appear to directly target military capability, rather than just intimidate

Reuters
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What appears to be new damage at Al Asad air base in Iraq is seen in a satellite picture taken January 8, 2020
What appears to be new damage at Al Asad air base in Iraq is seen in a satellite picture taken January 8, 2020Credit: PLANET/ REUTERS
Reuters

Iranian missiles damaged or destroyed seven buildings in the part of Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq that houses U.S. military personnel, satellite photographs appear to show.

A collage of two satellite pictures of Al Asad air base in Iraq from December 25, 2019 (L) and January 8, 2020 (R) appear to show recent damage from Iranian air strikes on U.S. military infrastructure
A collage of two satellite pictures of Al Asad air base in Iraq from December 25, 2019 (L) and January 8, 2020 (R) appear to show recent damage from Iranian air strikes on U.S. military infrastructure
A collage of two satellite pictures of Al Asad air base in Iraq from December 25, 2019 (L) and January 8, 2020 (R) appear to show recent damage from Iranian air strikes on U.S. military infrastructure
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A collage of two satellite pictures of Al Asad air base in Iraq from December 25, 2019 (L) and January 8, 2020 (R) appear to show recent damage from Iranian air strikes on U.S. military infrastructureCredit: Reuters / PlanetLabs
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A collage of two satellite pictures of Al Asad air base in Iraq from December 25, 2019 (L) and January 8, 2020 (R) appear to show recent damage from Iranian air strikes on U.S. military infrastructureCredit: Reuters / PlanetLabs
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A collage of two satellite pictures of Al Asad air base in Iraq from December 25, 2019 (L) and January 8, 2020 (R) appear to show recent damage from Iranian air strikes on U.S. military infrastructureCredit: Reuters / PlanetLabs

Two images provided by commercial satellite company Planet Labs Inc., and reviewed by Reuters, show five missile impact points in that part of the base. 

The extent of the damage can be gauged by comparing the photographs, taken after Wednesday's attack, with images from December 25 last year.

At least three of the structures appear to be aircraft maintenance hangers. Some of the buildings or structures have completely disappeared. Only parts of the others remain.

"They targeted the American portion of the base. They meant to hit it and they did hit it," said Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.

U.S. President Donald Trump said no Americans were harmed in the strikes, which Iranian said it launched in retaliation for the killing last week in Iraq of an Iranian general.

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