A quick recap of the major military headlines from the last week:
Satellite image showing the damage caused to al-Asad Airbase by Iranian missiles.
- Iran responded to the the death of General Soleimani last week by launching over a dozen conventional ballistic missiles at bases housing American troops in Iraq. The missiles, which struck al-Asad and Edil airbases, did an undisclosed amount of damage but caused no casualties. Whether the lack of human injuries and deaths was a purposeful move by Iran or incidental is still up for debate.
- In the wake of the Iranian attacks, fears of a full-on war with Iran spiked across the United States to the point that the website for the Selective Service crashed. The issue was undoubtedly exacerbated by a widespread hoax where mass texts sent from a fake US Army account informed people they had already been drafted.
- In a tragedy possibly related to everything else going on in Iran this week, a Ukrainian commercial airliner crashed shortly after takeoff outside Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard. An international investigation into the cause is in the early stages, but the US announced it has credible intelligence that the Iranian military accidentally shot down the plane. Iran denied the claim, but the governments of the UK and Canada also asserted that their own intelligence findings back up the US’s findings. Several pieces of shocking footage that appear to capture the missile hitting the plane have also been verified by numerous sources. Nearly all those aboard were Iranian citizens, including a large group of dual Iranian-Canadian citizens.
Screenshot from footage showing the moment of impact in the skies over Iran.
- Unhappy that the killing of Soleimani took place on their soil and without their permission, the Iraqi government has ordered all American troops out of the country. They asked the US to submit a plan for full withdrawal, but the US State Department refused and offered to send delegates to discuss terms for keeping troops in Iraq.
- The tense situations in Iran dominated the news cycle and somewhat overshadowed an attack on a military base in Manda Bay, Kenya on Sunday. The massive assault by the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organization al-Shabab managed to breach the base perimeter and destroy several aircraft before the militants were fought off. Three Americans were killed in the attack, US Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr. and two Department of Defense contractors.
- After numerous studies and investigations revealed that deficient training, understaffing, overwork, low morale, and a host of other issues have negatively affected the Surface Warfare community and led directly to two fatal ship collisions in recent years, the Navy has announced a partial solution: cool leather jackets for officers.
-LTJG Arthur Fonzarelli