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Washington (TSN– In his first official statement following Iran’s missile strikes on two U.S. military bases in Iraq, President Donald Trump denied that U.S. citizens had died as a result of that military action.

“We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases,” the U.S. president said and added that “Iran appears to be standing down.”

Trump reaffirmed his interpretation of the current Middle East situation and indicated that the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani was a necessary action to stop terrorism.

“Last week we eliminated the world’s top terrorist,” he stressed.

Related: 9 Things Americans Need to Know about General Soleimani’s Assassination

He also announced that more “powerful sanctions” will be implemented to force a change in behavior in Iran, a country to which he blames for creating “hell” in Yemen, Afghanistan, and other Middle Eastern countries. However, he did not provide details on what those new sanctions would be.

In the early hours of Wednesday, in response to the assassination of General Soleimani, Iran launched ballistic missiles against two military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq.

“The first Iranian response to the assassination of the martyr commander Soleimani has happened,” said Iraqi militia chief, Qais al Khazali, who added that “since the Iraqis are brave and jealous, their response will not be less than that of Iran. That is a promise.”

Iran’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri said that his country will respond “more overwhelmingly and decisively” if Washington takes new military actions.

On Wednesday, the U.S. President’s first reaction was to minimize the importance of the Iranian attack on his country’s military bases in the Middle East.

“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful, and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning,” Trump tweeted.

Related: Op-Ed: Soleimani Was a “Culture” and a Culture Cannot be Assassinated

Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi said that Iran sent an official verbal message to his country’s authorities informing them of an attack that would begin shortly.

Baghdad would have informed the United States about “which bases would be beaten,” after Iranian officials transmitted the information to them.

The U.S. intelligence would have also detected movements of Iran’s military equipment, including ballistic missiles and drones.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif confirmed that his country notified Iraqi authorities of the attack on U.S. bases.

“Iran has notified the Iraqi Government and the armed forces of the measures taken last night,” the Foreign Minister statement said.​​​​​​​

This post was originally written for and published by TeleSUR English and appears here with permission.

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