BANGOR – On Tuesday night, Iran started its attack on U.S. bases in Iraq in retaliation for last Thursday’s drone killing of a powerful Iranian general by the U.S. in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
The U.S. airstrike killed General Qassem Soleimani, leader of the elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. Shortly afterward, Iranian leaders vowed revenge.
The day following Soleimani’s killing, WVII/WFVX spoke with Ret. Navy Capt. James Settele, who served in the Persian Gulf and later was an assistant to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He’s now the director of the University of Maine’s School of Policy & International Affairs, and predicted Tuesday’s base attack.
“There are silkworm missiles, surface-to-surface missiles, and other threats along that entire coast that can target, and already have all those ships and those bases targeted,” said Settele, who served in the Navy for 27 years. “The question is: is Iran willing the pull the trigger? So I worry about them. There is 14,000 men and women in bases throughout the Middle East. They are now prime targets.”
President Trump addressed the nation Wednesday morning.
“All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases,” he said in his address. “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.”
Trump also said he was increasing economic sanctions for Iran, and he wanted to work with countries in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to ensure Iran does not get nuclear weapons.
The president said the U.S. has reached energy independence by becoming “the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world.”
He added, “We do not need Middle East oil.”