01/17/2020, 10.50
IRAN - USA - IRAQ
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At least 11 soldiers injured in the Iranian attack on US targets. Khamenei in Tehran for Friday prayer

Confirmation comes from Pentagon sources, who speak of "concussion" during the "evaluation" phase. They are being treated at facilities in Kuwait and Germany. For the first time since 2012, the supreme leader leads the Friday sermon in the capital. A gesture of high symbolic value.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 11 US soldiers were injured in the missile attack on US military bases in Iraq on January 8 in response to the killing of General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Qods Force. At first, both the Ministry of Defense and President Donald Trump had denied the involvement of men or vehicles following the bombing carried out by the Islamic Republic.

The news was revealed by the American portal specialized in military themes Defense One, which cites Pentagon sources according to which the soldiers reported concussions of varying degrees. The soldiers injured during the Iranian attack were reported to have been hospitalized in Kuwait and Germany.

"Although there were no casualties among US military personnel in the Iranian attack on al-Asad base on 8 January - underlines Central Command spokesman Bill Urban - several people were treated for concussion." The officer adds that the wounded "are still undergoing an assessment" and, as a precautionary measure, some of them "have been transported to facilities for subsequent screening."

Today, meanwhile, for the first time since 2012, the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will lead Friday prayers in the capital Tehran. A decision that confirms the climate of deep tension that reigns in the country, the scene in recent days of numerous protests following the shooting down of the Ukrainian airliner by the army in the frantic night of attacks against US targets in Iraq.

In recent days, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly raised calls for unity in the face of external challenges and threats, primarily the US sanctions that are bringing most of the population to their knees. At the same time, he - in one of the rare moments of internal conflict - invited the military to provide a comprehensive explanation of the incident.

According to reports from the Iranian agency Mehr, 80-year-old Khamenei will lead Friday prayers in the Mosalla mosque in Tehran today. Official sources say that "the Iranian nation will once again show its united face and its greatness". The last time that the supreme leader appeared in the capital for prayer was 2012, on the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that brought the Ayatollahs to power.

Analysts and experts point out that leading Friday prayers in Tehran takes on a high symbolic meaning. It is a gesture that is reserved on occasions or times when the authorities want to deliver an important message to the nation.

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