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Soleimani: Iran strikes back, fires rockets at US forces in Iraq

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By Toby Prince

Iran has fired more than a dozen rockets at two Iraqi military bases hosting US troops, the Pentagon confirmed.

The rockets fired at the Ain al-Asad base in Anbar province and a base in Erbil early on Wednesday came amid escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington.

The attacks follow the US killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq last week. Iran had vowed severe retailiation.

Here are all of the latest updates as of Wednesday, January 8:

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Pakistan citizens planning to visit Iraq to “exercise maximum caution”.

Those already in Iraq are advised to remain in close contact with Pakistan’s embassy in Baghdad.

Japan urged a return to diplomacy and called on governments to do their utmost to help ease tensions following the Iranian missile attack at bases in Iraq used by US forces.

Japanese Chief Cabinet spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the government would “coordinate with the related governments to collect intelligence while we ensure the safety of Japanese citizens in the region.”

“Japan will also urge all related nations to do their utmost diplomatic effort to improve the relations,” he added.

The United States has maintained its security posture in key ally the United Arab Emirates, a spokesperson from the US embassy said.

“The US security posture in the UAE has not changed,” the spokesperson told Reuters.

Oil prices surged after the Iran attack on US forces in Iraq, raising the prospect of a regional conflagration that could disrupt oil supplies. Stocks fell sharply.

Brent crude futures soared $1.83, or 2.7 percent, to $70.10 by about 01:48 GMT, after earlier rising to $71.75, the highest since mid-September 2019.

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