A declassified video released by the Pentagon shows Iranian missiles attacking the American airbase located in Iraq, following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. The footage dating back to January 2020 shows the attack being launched on the Ayn al-Asad airbase, located in the western Anbar Province of Iraq.
On January 3 last year, three Katyusha rockets were fired at Baghdad International Airport which left four dead including Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. While confirming Soleimani's death Pentagon released a statement saying: "At the direction of the President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani."
Missiles Targeted Aircraft Maintenance Hangars
The attack on the US airbase came days after the US assassination of the top general. Iran retaliated by firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two United States military bases in Iraq.
The US Department of Defence had confirmed that at least two airbases hosting US troops in Iraq were attacked with more than a dozen ballistic missiles. The Pentagon said Irbil and Al Asad the military bases came under Iranian attack.
The never-seen-before footage was released by the US Central Command on CBS during a segment on '60 Minutes'.
According to RT, the footage shot in grainy infrared shows six Qiam 1 missiles coming down on the Ayn al-Asad airbase. The missiles targeted the aircraft maintenance hangars and other base facilities on the base. The footage was recorded by an American drone hovering over the base on January 8, last year.
Many Soldiers Diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injuries
However, on Monday the US Central Command released a longer and detailed footage of the attack. The Business Insider reported that following the tip off regarding the attack, Lt. Col. Staci Coleman, the commander of the 443rd Air Expeditionary Squadron at Al Asad Air Base, said he had to decide on the plan of evacuating soldiers from the base.
"I was deciding who would live and would die. I honestly thought anyone remaining behind would perish. I didn't believe anyone would survive a ballistic missile attack, and it made me feel sick and helpless," she had said during her testimony.
Speaking to '60 Minutes', Maj. Alan Johnson, who was present at the at Al Asad base during the missile attack, revealed that he had received an intelligence assessment that Iran's "intention is to level this base and we may not survive." Johnson, had recorded a video for his family, believing it to be the last time he interacted with them. "Just always know in your heart that I love you, OK? Bye, buddy," he is heard telling his 6-year-old son.
Even though none of US soldiers present on the base was killed in the missile attack, it was reported that over 100 service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries of.