Missiles pound base and general apologizes for plane shootdown

Fallout from Iran-U.S. tensions intensified Sunday as missiles pounded an Iraqi air base hosting U.S. troops while Iranians defied a government crackdown and protested their government’s accidental shootdown of a passenger jet.

Gen. Hossein Salami, head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, apologized for the jet tragedy. And President Donald Trump tweeted his support for the demonstrations, warning there “cannot be another massacre of peaceful protesters.”

Iran-U.S. relations have been devolving since Trump pulled the U.S. out of a global pact with Iran fashioned by the Obama administration that eased some economic sanctions in return for Iran curbing nuclear development.

Tensions reached new highs after a U.S. drone strike Jan. 3 that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Soleimani’s death drew millions of angry, mourning Iranians to the streets of Tehran and other cities. It also drew retaliation to an accidental tragedy. 

Photos of Gen. Qasem Soleimani outside his memorial service in Tehran on Jan. 12, 2020.

Here is what we know so far:

4 hurt as missiles slam air base

Four Iraqi soldiers were wounded Sunday when at least six rockets slammed into the Balad air base 50 miles north of Baghdad, the Iraqi military said. There was no immediate word of U.S. casualties, and officials said most U.S. troops had left the area in recent days. The statement made no mention of Iran, and no group or nation immediately took responsibility for the attack.

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