WORLDBITES: Iran attacks US bases in Iraq hours after funeral of Qasem Soleimani. Ukrainian Boeing 737 with 180 passengers on board crashes

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Iran on January 8 launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles targeting multiple locations in Iraq, including at least two military bases housing U.S. troops and coalition forces, the Pentagon said.

Defense Department spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said: “It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran.”

Military bases at Ain Assad and Erbil were hit, he said, adding that “initial battle damage assessments” were being conducted.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) claimed responsibility for the attacks, Iranian state television and state news agencies reported.

The IRGC stated the multiple attacks were in retaliation for the killing of a prominent Iranian military commander, Qasem Soleimani, who died in a U.S. airstrike last week. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on social media that Terhran took proportionate measures in self-defense.

“Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter…We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression,” Zarif tweeted.

Zarif also advised the United States to withdraw its troops from the region to prevent the killing of soldiers.

President Donald Trump said that “all is well” after the missile attacks, adding that he will give a morning briefing on the situation on January 8.

Ukrainian airliner crashes near Tehran: Iranian media

Boeing 737 plane was carrying 180 passengers and crew when it crashed shortly after take-off from the Iranian capital.

A Ukrainian airliner with 180 passengers and crew on board has crashed near Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport in Iran on Wednesday.

According to the Iranian media, the Boeing 737-800 jet crashed near Parand, a suburb southwest of capital Tehran shortly after take-off.

There were no immediate reports on casualties, although images posted on social media indicated that there were no survivors.

According to Flighradar24 flight tracker, the Ukraine International Airline Flight 752 was scheduled to take off at 5:15am Tehran time heading to Boryspil International Airport in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

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