Iran Warns US after Deployment of Patriot Air Defense Systems to Iraq
Iran and its militias operating in Iraq issued on Tuesday threats to the US, a day after it deployed Patriot air defense systems to the Ain al-Asad base in the province of Anbar and the Harir base near Irbil.
The Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) warned in a statement that the slightest mistake by the "vicious and adventurous enemies" against Iran would be their last, in reference to the United States.
“The decisive and destructive response will be unbelievable. It will not even give them the opportunity of expressing regret,” the IRGC said.
Patriot systems are composed of high-performance radars and interceptor missiles that can track and destroy incoming ballistic missiles while they are still in the air.
They were deployed by Washington as a precaution against Iranian-backed militia attacks.
In a tweet posted on his account Tuesday, former Chief-Commander of the IRGC Major-General Mohsen Rezaei compared a possible US attack to an assault by ISIS.
"America should leave Iraq; otherwise Iraqis will kick them out,” he said.
In Iraq, the deputy secretary-general of Harakat al-Abdal (The Replacements Movement), which is close to Iran, said that the US deployment of Patriot missiles offers the resistance factions the right to fight the American forces and to consider them as occupation armies.
Iraq had resisted the deployment because it feared Iran would see it as a threat and further ramp up tensions.
Top Iraqi officials who met US Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie in February suggested Washington could grant Baghdad some political "cover" by reducing its troop presence in Iraq as it deployed the missiles, a US military source with knowledge of the talks told AFP.
In recent weeks, the US-led coalition has significantly drawn down troop levels in Iraq.