İrem UZUN -TDO- Tensions have ratcheted in the past week after a U.S. airstrike killed Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday. That prompted Iran to promise retaliation, and on Wednesday, it blasted bases in Iraq where U.S. soldiers were housed. Mr. Trump said Wednesday Iran appeared to be "standing down" after a week of soaring tension between the two countries. By Thursday, however, there were mixed messages. A senior Iranian military commander vowed there would be "harsher revenge" against the United States. The remark came a day after Iran's political leaders said the Islamic Republic had "concluded" its response to Soleimani's killing.

In a news conference covered by Iranian state media, Revolutionary Guards aerospace commander Brig-Gen Hajizadeh said Iran had been prepared to fire hundreds or even thousands of missiles. In the event fewer than 20 were fired. "We had thought that the clash would continue for three days to one week. We had prepared a few thousand missiles for such circumstances," he said in remarks carried by the Fars news agency. Brig-Gen Hajizadeh also said that Iran had launched cyber attacks which had disabled U.S. systems for tracking missiles during the strikes. However, U.S. officials say casualties at the bases were prevented because early warning systems worked effectively.

"We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted," it said. The IRGC promised "more painful and crushing responses" if America, "the Great Satan," fought back, Brig-Gen Hajizadeh stated.

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