TEHRAN – IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh disclosed that the communication and dispatch of images by US MQ-9 drones were cut as IRGC’s missile attack was underway on Ain al-Assad military base.
“An operation that we did not disclose anything about after the IRGC’s missile attacks and was conducted by using special equipment we had prepared in advance was an important electronic warfare operation that started about 15 minutes after missile attack; we brought all drones flying over Ain al-Assad military base out of US troops’ control for some moments and cut their communication and image links which terrified the Americans,” General Hajizadeh said on Thursday, addressing a press conference to elaborate on IRGC missile attacks on the US military base.
He noted that following the IRGC’s missile attacks, the most important need of the Americans was to understand the extent of the losses which were instantly monitored by the cameras of eight MQ-9 drones, and said:
“When the aircraft were out of US control their morale was much more lowered than the missile attacks.”
General Hajizadeh said Iran’s missile strikes on two US bases in Iraq in retaliation for assassination of IRGC Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani triggered vast operations to expel American troops from the region.
“The missile strikes on one of the United States’ most important bases within the framework of martyr Soleimani operation was the start of big operations which will continue in the entire region,” General Hajizadeh told reporters in Tehran.
“We were not after killing anyone although tens of US troops have likely been killed and wounded and were transferred to Israel and Jordan on 9 sorties of C-130 flights,” he added, noting that had Iran intended to kill the American forces, it could have planned high casualty operations to kill 500 US military men in the first step and 4,000 to 5,000 others in the second and third phases within 48 hours.
General Hajizadeh said that 13 missiles were fired at the US bases on Tuesday, adding that Iran was ready to fire hundreds of missiles in the first hours and had prepared thousands of missiles for possible 3-day to week-long clashes between the two sides.
He underlined that “the blood of Iranian martyrs is of high value and they cannot be compensated by hitting their bases, downing their fighter jets or even killing Trump, since the main revenge as stated by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is expelling the US from the region completely”.
On Wednesday, the IRGC Aerospace Force launched heavy ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a US-operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the assassination of General Soleimani.
Ein Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels, which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad had failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles. Unofficial reports said the US army’s central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.
Iranian side claims some 80 US army personnel were killed and nearly 200 more wounded. The second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a US military base near Erbil airport in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of “Martyr Soleimani” reprisal operation.
All flights were canceled at Erbil airport. Iraq noted the attacks had not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases. The US army had blocked entrance into Ein Al-Assad to everyone, including the Iraqi army. It was the first direct attack on the US army ever since WWII.