U.S. officials reportedly knew about Iran's missile strike ahead of time

Kathryn Krawczyk

There's reportedly a big reason casualties were avoided in Iran's Tuesday night strike.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday morning, Iran told Iraq a response to the U.S. assassination of Qassem Soleimani "had begun or would start shortly," Iraq's prime minister's office said Wednesday morning. And as an Arab diplomatic source has since told CNN, Iraq then relayed that information to the U.S. and told it "which bases would be hit."

Iran retaliated for the U.S. strike that killed Soleimani early Wednesday by shooting at least a dozen ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases where U.S. troops were housed. A U.S. defense official confirmed the advance notice given to Iraq, with CNN reporting that "Iraqis were told by Iran to stay away from certain bases."

"U.S. officials had advance warning of Iran's missile assault," a U.S. official also told USA Today. But according to that official, the notice came from "an early warning system" that allowed troops to "scramble for cover."

No casualties were reported after the attacks, but two Iraqi bases were damaged.

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