In what could further jeopardize US-Russia relations, an Israeli military intelligence website has claimed that the Iranians were assisted by the Russians in targeting the two American base housing the US troops in Iraq. The Iran missile strike on January 8 injured at least 11 American soldiers in Iraq.
According to DEBKAfile, which provides Middle East focused commentary and analyses on terrorism, intelligence, national security, military, and international relations - Russia gave Iran access to its global positioning system to target the US base in Iraq.
The report citing unnamed Russian sources claimed that Moscow gave "...Iranians access to the Russian global navigation network, GLONASS, which is the Russian equivalent of the American GPS system."
The United States for decades has had a monopoly on determining the location of objects through its Global Positioning System (GPS) but now Russia's GLONASS has become a global alternative. Russia over the years has been able to establish itself as a reliable partner for rogue states such as Syria and Iran.
Besides selling its weaponry to Syria, the Russians have been assisting the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad with Russian mercenaries. Most of the weapon system that Iran uses is still from the soviet-era. The Russian granting access to GLONASS to target American assets in Iraq, if true, goes to prove Moscow's plan to increase its sphere of influence in the Middle East as a powerbroker amidst deteriorating American influence.
"The access to this system, according to Russian sources, allowed Iranian missiles to hit American targets with an accuracy of 10 meters, especially at the Ain Assad base in western Iraq."
"According to Russian sources, 19 missiles were fired from the territory of Iran, 17 of which hit the targets," the report revealed.
On January 8, 2020, in a military operation code-named Operation Martyr Soleimani, Iran fired several ballistic missiles at the Ayn al-Asad airbase in Al Anbar Governorate, Western Iraq, as well as another airbase in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, in response to the killing of Major General Qasem Soleimani by a United States drone strike.
Pentagon initially had denied claims of any casualties. A week later, it emerged that at least 11 American soldiers were injured in the attack on Al Asad airbase.
Following the attack, the American soldiers were moved to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for follow-on screening. Iran, on the other hand, had claimed that several US troops were killed in the missile strike. The Iranian state television claimed that 80 US soldiers were killed in the missile attacks.