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Trump says ‘Iran appears to be standing down’ following missile strikes

US President Donald Trump says Iran “appears to be standing down” after it targeted air bases housing US forces in Iraq.

Donald Trump makes statement after Iran strikes Iraqi bases housing US troops
Donald Trump makes statement after Iran strikes Iraqi bases housing US troops

Mr Trump said no US or Iraqi lives were lost in the attacks, and the bases suffered only minimal damage.

The attacks on the Irbil and Al Asad bases came early on Wednesday morning local time.

Iran said they were a retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani last week.

The US president just declared that he will impose additional economic sanctions on Iran.

He is calling on Europe to “break away from the remnants of the Iran nuclear deal”, which he called a “foolish” deal and had previously announced the US would abandon.

Trump has not given any details about the nature of further sanctions.

In his short speech, Donald Trump, who has been scathing and mocking of NATO, called on the alliance to “get more involved in the Middle East”.

He didn’t go into further detail and went on to boast that the USA is now self-sufficient in oil and natural gas, as “the number one producer in the world”, and said: “We do not need Middle East oil.”

Trump then asserted, in warning Iran in characteristic tone, that “our missiles are big and powerful and accurate…and lethal.”

He said he didn’t want to use force, however, and said that “America’s strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent.”

Trump has described last week’s missile assassination of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani as “decisive action to stop a ruthless terrorist”.

“Last week we eliminated the world’s top terrorist,” he said at the White House. BBC/Guardian