With Its Missile Strikes, Iran Flaunts Its Accuracy

Jan 9, 2020 | 20:51 GMT

This photo shows pieces of a Qaim 1 missile after Iran targeted the Ayn al-Asad Air Base in Iraq on Jan. 8, 2020.

Pieces of a Qaim 1 missile lie in a rural area of Iraq after Iran targeted Iraq's Ayn al-Asad Air Base and Arbil International Airport on Jan. 8. Iran was not particularly successful with its Qaim 1 missiles, but other strikes on the air base were highly accurate.

(Al-Baghdadi township/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


  • Iran's attacks on the Ayn al-Asad Air Base demonstrate the country's ability to accurately strike targets that are far away.
  • The care with which Tehran selected its targets suggests that it only wanted to send a message to the United States without igniting a larger war.
  • Iran's ability to accurately fire missiles demonstrates that it can inflict damage even on more powerful adversaries like the United States.

The images paint a picture of precision: The first satellite imagery of the aftermath of the Iranian strike on Ayn al-Asad Air Base in Iraq highlights Iran's improved ability to accurately strike distant targets with its extensive missile arsenal. The pictures, released by imaging company Planet Labs on Jan. 8, show that Iran can chalk up its strike as a success even without inflicting U.S. casualties. What's more, they also show how Iran sought to skirt a delicate line in exacting public retribution while also avoiding an escalation that would lead to outright war....

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