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More Than A Dozen Iranian Missiles Launched At U.S. And Coalition Forces In Iraq

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And as we said, there have been some significant developments since we recorded that conversation with Ambassador Hook just earlier this evening. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman joins us now to discuss those developments.

Hi, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hey, Ari.

SHAPIRO: So reports of more than a dozen missiles launched against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. What more do we know?

BOWMAN: Well, they were launched early in the morning in Iraq, and they hit two sites - al-Asad air base in the southwest part of the country, where you have a lot of Americans stationed in Irbil, also in the north, where you also have quite a few American military officials. And the DOD is saying the ballistic missiles were launched from Iran. There's no sense yet of the casualties, no information at this point. They're still doing what they call battle damage assessment on this strike. Iranian TV has said this - obviously, in retaliation for the American drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the Iraqi - I'm sorry - the Iranian Quds Force leader.

SHAPIRO: The top general, when he was in Iraq...

BOWMAN: That's right.

SHAPIRO: ...Late last week. Yeah.

BOWMAN: And so I know Pentagon officials are now meeting behind closed doors to figure out the way ahead. But as you know, President Trump has said if Iran attacks the U.S., he has 52 targets in Iran - 52 for the 52 hostages seized by Iran back in 1979.

SHAPIRO: Just very...

BOWMAN: So it's a developing story. Again, no sense of any U.S. casualties at this point, but we hope to have a little more information tonight.

SHAPIRO: Just very briefly, Tom, there was a relocation of U.S. forces yesterday. Do you know whether they were moved out of harm's way?

BOWMAN: Some were moved to more secure locations in Iraq. A small number were moved outside Iraq to Kuwait, but the bulk of the 5,000 U.S. forces still remain in Iraq.

SHAPIRO: NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman with that breaking news tonight.

Thank you, Tom.

BOWMAN: You're welcome, Ari. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.