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President Trump told Pence not to attend the new Ukrainian leader’s inauguration - a day after Lev Parnas said he failed to extract a promise, that Kyiv would announce a Biden investigation.
Report: American Forces ‘Left Blind to Events’ After Iran's Missile Attack
TEHRAN (FNA)- American soldiers recount how they lost contact with their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the sky as Iran targeted the military base in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of its top commander, according to a report.
At the time the military operation was launched, the US Army was flying seven UAVs over Iraq to monitor bases where US-led coalition forces are deployed, AFP reported on Wednesday.
Having received advance warning from superiors, most of the 1,500 US soldiers at the base had been hidden in bunkers for two hours, but 14 pilots had stayed in containers-turned-cockpits to remotely fly the American drones and “monitor essential feeds from their high-powered cameras”, according to the report.
One of the pilots, 26-year-old Staff Sergeant Costin Herwig, who was flying a Gray Eagle, told AFP that he “accepted fate” after volleys of Iranian missiles poured on the air base, with the first missile blasting dust into their shelter.
"We thought we were basically done," he said.
The American forces stated that the volleys of missiles lasted for three hours, slamming into sleeping quarters directly adjacent to the pilots' operations rooms and inflicting damage on fiber lines, thus disrupting communication with the drones.
The fiber lines link the virtual cockpits to antennas then satellites that send signals to the Gray Eagles and pull the cameras' feeds back onto the screens at Ein al-Assad, according to the soldiers.
"No more than a minute after the last round hit, I was heading over to the bunkers on the far back side and saw the fire was burning all through our fiber lines," said First Sergeant Wesley Kilpatrick, adding, "With the fiber lines burnt, there was no control."
The Iranian ballistic missiles had also punched holes across Ein al-Assad's airfield and the control tower was empty, the report added.
The soldiers of “the besieged teams” at the base could not locate the drones after the attack and were left in dark both in the air and on the ground, not knowing whether one of their drones had been shot down, it stated.
"It's a pretty big deal, because it's so expensive and there's a lot of stuff on them (drones) that we don't want other people to have or the enemy to get," Herwig noted.
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh had disclosed that the communication and dispatch of images by US MQ-9 drones were cut as IRGC’s missile attack was underway on Ein al-Assad military base.
Iran fired more than a dozen missiles last Wednesday at two American military bases in Iraq in retaliation for Washington's assassination of Tehran's elite commander, IRGC Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
Syrian President's Aide: Trump Blindly Following Israeli Schemes in West Asia
TEHRAN (FNA)- President of the United States Donald Trump is blindly undertaking Israeli schemes in the region, the political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad noted.
“We have reached a stage where Trump is blindly working to fulfill the wishes of Zionism. Zionism sought to deal a blow to the axis of resistance by assassinating the two fighters. However, it only consolidated the resistance front,” Bouthaina Shaaban said in Damascus on Sunday.
She then cited a report published by the Israeli Haaretz daily. that Trump had informed Israeli officials of his intention to assassinate Soleimani without consulting Congress.
“We are facing an act which Trump perpetrated simply to serve the interests of Israel,” she added.
The assassination of Soleimani was shocking, emphasizing that its repercussions will not be confined to days and months, but will rather last long.
“America took an action that will have adverse effects on the US in all arenas. The United States proved itself to be a government that commits terrorist and criminal acts by the law of the jungle, and violates the constitution by skirting Congress,” the high-ranking Syrian official underlined.
She also hailed a decision made by the Iraqi parliament concerning the withdrawal of US military forces from Iraq as well as Iran’s precision firing of missiles at US bases in Iraq.
Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.
Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a mechanism for the pullout. The prime minister said Iraq rejects violation of its sovereignty, particularly the US military's violation of Iraqi airspace in the airstrike that assassinated General Soleimani last Friday.
The US State Department bluntly rejected the request on Friday.