The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, assessed that Iranian missiles launched at the Ain al-Assad base on 8 January “were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and equipment and aircraft, and to kill personnel”. The commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force maintained that “the strikes were not meant to cause fatalities. We… intended to deliver a blow to the enemy’s military machine”. He further argued that “destroying the central command centre lying within Ain al-Assad” was the operation’s primary objective.
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