NATO condemns Iranian retaliatory attack

NATO called on Iran to refrain from further violence.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the Iranian missile attacks on US and coalition forces in Iraq. A tweet by Stoltenberg said; “NATO calls on Iran to refrain from further violence. Allies continue to consult and remain committed to our training mission in Iraq.”

Iran has attacked two military bases in Iraq used by US troops in retaliation for the targeted killing of General Qassem Soleimani. The airbase Ain al-Assad west of Baghdad and a base in the southern Kurdistan city of Hewlêr (Erbil) were affected, the US Defence Ministry declared on Wednesday night. Dozens of ballistic missiles were fired at the Ain al-Assad base alone.

In a statement on Iranian state television, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards called on the US to withdraw its troops from the region. "Now that they have recognized our power, it is time for the United States to withdraw its troops from the Middle East," said Iranian Chief of General Staff Mohammad Bakri.

In a first official statement, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Jawad Zarif described the missile fire as a "proportionate and lawful act of self-defense. On Twitter, Zarif wrote, "We do not seek escalation or war, but we will defend ourselves against any aggression."