Christiaan Triebert+ Your Authors @trbrtc Visual Investigations @nytimes. Previously @bellingcat. Monitoring things, mostly niche. Retired hitchhiker. @quiztime. Usual caveats. Jan. 08, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

“It's falling now on Ain al-Asad!” This video shows the moment an IRGC-launched ballistic missile hits the Iraqi air base where United States troops are based. It was filmed by an Iraqi soldier stationed there. 

At least a dozen missiles were launched against U.S. military and Coalition forces, at approximately 1:30 AM local time in Iraq, says @DeptofDefense . There was no immediate confirmation of casualties. 

The 1:30 AM approx. launch time mentioned by the Pentagon corroborates with social media posts stating that Ain al-Asad AB is being rocked by explosions coming in at 1:38 AM. Here's one of such tweets at 1:40 AM (2:40 PM is Twitter server time in SF): .

Interesting: four hours before the attack, an obscure Twitter account claims that either Balad or Ain al-Asad Air Base will be targeted by missiles from Iran “in less than six hours.” That same account, five minutes before the approximate launch time: “Ain al-Asad Base”.

This is not indicative of prior knowledge. Remember, a few days ago there was a widespread claim that Ain al-Asad Air Base was targeted by loads of missiles. That claim was false. The tweet mentioned above may have just been a similar random claim that, accidentally, became true.

The @nytimes visual investigations team is closely monitoring the developments in Iraq and Iran. Feel free to reach out to me or my colleagues (@heytherehaIey @evanchill @malachybrowne @ntabrizy @YousurAlhlou) if you think we should look into something. 

Regarding earlier tweets ⬆️ that missiles would be launched on Ain al-Asad airbase.. A firm doing online monitoring of potential retaliation targets noted high levels of Persian-language attention to Ain al-Asad as well. See @thedailybeast: 

Several locations of Ain al-Asad airbase were hit by the IRGC ballistic missiles, this @planetlabs satellite image captured this morning shows. Damage assessment by @ArmsControlWonk and @DaveSchmerler. Google Maps reference of area:,42.4425352,842m/data=!3m1!1e3 .

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