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Futures Tumble After Iran Fires “Tens Of Missiles” At US Airbase In Iraq

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Update 7: This is about to go to ’11′. 

US jets are reportedly “in the air” and leaving Turkey as stocks extend their decline, and oil futures continue to climb. Reports are claiming that shelling has stopped at Al Asad Air Base, and that roughly 35 rounds hit the base.

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham: “We are aware of the reports of attacks on US facilities in Iraq. The President has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.”

The Pentagon has confirmed that more than a dozen missiles were launched from Iran. “It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran.” But others claim there appears to be some doubt.

Some media reports noted that the base has been visited by President Trump in the past, giving the attack a special significance. US military sources are saying that troops at the base are still in lockdown, though the attack is said to be over.

Initial reports on NBC Nightly News claimed US officials are looking into whether the attacks originated from within Iranian territory, a question that was also explored immediately following the Aramco attack late last year.

Iranian TV is already threatening “more violent responses” if the US retaliates for these latest attacks.

And so, Iran’s promised “historic nightmare” has begun.

* * *

Update 6: The drop in S&P futures is accelerating as more senior US military officials confirm that a US army base in Iraq is under ballistic missile attack. The drop in S&P futures is accelerating as US and Iranian sources report attacks “all over the country.”

Brent futures have extended their gains to 3% on the news, which seems to suggest that the crisis between the US and Iran over the killing of Suleimani is far from over.

While details on casualties are still unclear, experts are saying that the weapons used were either cruise missiles, or short-range ballistic weaponry, or possibly a mix.

And we now have a statement from the IRGC claiming responsibility for the attacks: “The brave soldiers of IRGC’s aerospace unit have launched a successful attack with tens of ballistic missiles on Al Assad military base in the name of martyr Gen. Qasem Soleimani.”

Looking ahead, many are wondering if the fighting will reach Baghdad.

And the White House has confirmed that President Trump has been briefed on the attacks, and is monitoring the situation closely with his national security team at the White House.

Given the severity of the situation, it’s still strange that the US was slow to confirm the initial reports. A reporter for CNN is reporting that the Pentagon was slow to respond because officials were “sent home early for what was supposed to be a major snowstorm” in DC.

Nancy Pelosi was reportedly briefed about the attacks during a steering meeting. Her response to her fellow members? Pray….

Iranian sources are claiming that the operation has a name: ‘Operation Martyr Suileimani’.

* * *

Update 5: Bloomberg has now confirmed WaPo’s reporting, adding that at least nine rockets have now hit Al-Asad Airbase. There have also been reports of IRGC commanders claiming to have launched “tens of missiles” at the base.

Al Mayadeen TV has also confirmed.

And just like that, ES is sliding, and Brent is spiking…

* * *

Update 4: Confirmation at last.

After hours of vague and unconvincing reports about a string of attacks on US buildings in Iraq, the Washington Post has apparently confirmed that at least one of the attacks – the most recent to be reported – is real.

Reporter Dan Lamothe described his source as “very credible.”

Video of alleged Iranian rockets raining down on the American base has just hit Twitter.

So it looks like this really is the Iranian retaliation that we’ve been waiting for.

* * *

Update 3: And the stream of strange reports of attacks and sirens at US bases and consulates around the Middle East continues, as a reporter for Al-Monitor, a credible English-language source of news and analysis on the Middle East region, claims another missile attack has been reported, this time at Al-Asad airbase in Anbar Province.

Reports claim that more than 30 missiles have been launched at the base, and still more are coming in.

Following reports of a siren heard at the US consulate in Erbil, Iraqi TV is reporting that flights into the local airport have been suspended.

Once again, Iranian media is reporting the attacks, though we must admit, the photo below doesn’t exactly look genuine.

The mainstream American press and Pentagon are still eerily quiet.

* * *

Update 2: The UK tabloid Daily Mail is now reporting at “siren test” at Taji military base in Iraq, which it says is host to British and American troops. The report appears to have verified claims that at least five rockets have hit the base, and that sirens have been heard ringing out at consulates around the area, including Erbil, which we noted below.

Critically, the paper notes that some reports suggest that the missile strike might simply be a drill. It also noted that the alleged strike is unfolding just hours after a flurry of US airstrikes on militia bases in Western Iraq and Syria, targeting the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Units.

One local journalist reports that his sources say the “attack” was merely just a drill, and that the base is “calm tonight.”

* * *

More unconfirmed reports are trickling in, this time from Australia-based cleric Imam Tawhidi.

And a video purporting to depict a warning at the base advising personnel to “shelter in place” – though there’s no way of telling whether it is authentic.

* * *

Update: The Jerusalem Post has apparently picked up reports from Iran’s Fars news agency claiming that at least five rockets have hit Taji, potentially placing the lives of American troops in peril.

That means the reports of the attack, which were first circulated by unconfirmed accounts, have now been vetted by the mainstream press. Though some on social media claim that people on the ground in the area don’t see any signs of the attack, and are skeptical that this might be another Iranian attempt at disruptive media hacking.

And, as we noted below, markets are taking the news seriously.

Get ready for more hysteria about the dawn of WWIII.

Meanwhile, in reference to a separate incident, local media reports that alarms that sounded at the US consulate in Erbil were a test.

If these reports are true, it’s also notable that President Trump appeared to back away from threats to attack Iranian cultural sites during an “exchange” with reporters int he Oval Office ahead of his meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis Tuesday afternoon, per the Washington Post.

Though, in typical Trump style, Trump also defended the strike against Suleimani and suggested he wasn’t happy about restraining his rhetoric toward Iran.

“They’re allowed to blow up everything that we have and there’s nothing that stops them,” he said. “And we are, according to various laws, supposed to be very careful with their cultural heritage. And you know what, if that’s what the law is, I like to obey the law.”

Asked about the future of US troops in Iraq, Trump said the US would like to get out “at some point.”

“At some point, we want to get out, but this isn’t the right point,” he said, adding that the United States would want to be reimbursed for costs related to fighting the Islamic State militant group.

* * *

Following four days of increasingly belligerent threats from Iran and its leadership, unconfirmed reports claim 5 missiles have just struck a US base in Iraq.

The base is called Taji camp, and it’s situated about 17 miles north of Baghdad. Notably, US troops are housed at the camp.

If this is an Iranian attack, it’s notable that it’s coming at the end of the four days of mourning for General Qasem Suleimani, who was killed last week in an audacious drone strike ordered by President Trump while Suleimani was attending a meeting in Baghdad.

Ominously, the heavily-followed (though not official) twitter account @Iran, tweeted a threatening message a few hours ago…

Though the reports are unconfirmed, news of what could be the beginning of Iran’s threatened retaliation for the killing of General Qasem Suilemani inspired a slight pop in crude futures.

Gold jumped…

…while stocks are unhappy.

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