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Live Reporting

Alice Cuddy, Matt Cannon and Holly Honderich

All times stated are UK

  1. End of live coverage

    President Trump

    We're winding down our live coverage of the American-Iranian tensions and the fallout of the Iranian strikes of air bases housing US forces in Iraq.

    Iran was "standing down", President Trump said in a televised address from the White House, as both countries appeared to seek an off-ramp to avoid a head-to-head conflict.

    You can read more from the BBC on the situation in the Middle East here:

  2. Did Iran try to avoid US casualties?

    US and European government sources told Reuters news agency that they believed the Iranians had deliberately sought to minimise casualties and avoid hitting US facilities in order to prevent the crisis escalating out of control, while still signalling their resolve.

    CNN journalist Jake Tapper quoted a Pentagon official as saying that Iran "deliberately chose targets that would not result in loss of life".

    View more on twitter

    The BBC's defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus said: “Whether this was by design, or just due to shortcomings with the manufacture and accuracy of their missiles, as yet remains unclear.”

    “However, launching long range missiles against US bases is a risky way of making a point.”

    He added: “Looking at the initial civilian satellite pictures of the impacts of the Iranian missiles at Al Asad air base, they appear to have destroyed several structures, so the lack of casualties could be as much by luck rather than design.”

  3. What did the Iranian missiles hit?

    The Iraqi military, which also reported no casualties, said the country was hit by 22 missiles between 01:45 and 02:15 local time on Wednesday (22:45-23:15 GMT on Tuesday).

    Seventeen missiles were fired towards Al Asad air base, it said.

    Satellite photographs taken by a commercial company, Planet, for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, showed what appeared to be at least five destroyed structures at Al Asad.

    David Schmerler, an analyst at the Middlebury Institute, told NPR: "Some of the locations struck look like the missiles hit dead centre."

    Satellite images showing damage and destroyed structures at Al Asad base, Iraq

    Two of the missiles aimed at Al Asad fell in the Hitan area, west of the town of Hit, and did not explode, according to the Iraqi military.

    Photos of the remnants of one of those missiles, including three large parts of its fuselage, subsequently emerged on social media.

    View more on twitter

    The Iraqi military said Iran fired five missiles towards Irbil air base, in the northern Kurdistan region.

    It did not say how many hit the base, but state TV reported that two missiles landed in the village of Sidan, 16km (10 miles) north-west of the city of Irbil, and that a third missile came down in the Bardah Rashsh area, about 47km north-west of Irbil.

    Journalists meanwhile photographed residents standing beside what they believed was the crater caused by the missile that hit Bardah Rashsh.

    People stand beside a crater reportedly caused by an Iranian missile in Bardah Rashsh, in Iraq's Kurdistan Region
  4. What we know about Iran’s missile attack

    Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) said it launched attacks on Iraqi bases housing US forces in retaliation for the US drone strike in Baghdad last Friday that killed the top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani.

    An IRGC statement said “tens of surface-to-surface missiles” were launched early on Wednesday “to crush the occupied air base of terrorist and aggressor army of the US in Al Asad”, the hub for American military operations in western Iraq.

    Iran’s Tasnim news agency, which is close to the IRGC, reported that Fateh-313 and Qiam missiles were used in the attack , and that US forces failed to intercept them because they were equipped with cluster warheads. The warheads also caused “tens of explosions” at Al Asad, it said.

    View more on twitter

    Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the attack a “slap in the face” for the Americans. But he said it was more important to end the US military presence in the region.

    President Donald Trump said US forces suffered no casualties as a result of the Iranian missile attacks and the bases sustained “only minimal damage”.

    He credited “the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well”, and declared that “Iran appears to be standing down”.

    Map showing US military presence in Iraq
  5. Trudeau 'shocked and saddened' by plane crash

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he was "shocked and saddened" by the news of the plane crash thought to have killed 176 people in Iran.

    Officials have said 63 Canadians and 82 Iranians - some of whom held dual nationalities - were on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 which crashed in Tehran earlier.

    Mr Trudeau offered his "deepest condolence" to the families of those killed in the crash, which happened just hours after the Iranian missile strikes. The two are not thought to be linked.

    "Today, I assure all Canadians that their safety and security is our top priority,"he said in a statement.

    "We also join with the other countries who are mourning the loss of citizens."

    Mr Trudeau added that his government would work to "ensure that this crash is thoroughly investigated, and that Canadians' questions are answered".

  6. Ukrainian foreign minister thanks Canada

    View more on twitter

    Eleven Ukrainians, including all nine crew, died on the Ukraine International Airlines flight from Tehran to Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said.

    The county's foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, thanked Canada, which lost 63 citizens in the disaster, some with dual nationality.

    The crash came just hours after the Iranian missile strike on Iraq military bases used by the US.There was no evidence that the two incidents were linked.

  7. University students among those killed in Iran plane crash

    Officials have confirmed that 63 Canadians were on board the passenger jet that crashed early on Wednesday on its way to Ukraine from Tehran. The crash is thought to have killed all 176 people on board.

    A Toronto realtor on holiday with his wife, and at least 10 students from four Ontario universities were among those killed, Canadian media reported.

    And at least 30 of the Canadian victims hailed from Edmonton, Alberta, local media said, most with ties to the University of Alberta, including two University of Alberta professors travelling with their two young daughters.

    Reza Akbari, the president of the city's Iranian Heritage Society told the Edmonton Journal that he was in "shock" at the news.

    "I can tell you pretty much every Iranian in Edmonton knew some of them, so it’s very devastating," Akbari said.

    Online tributes poured in for the victims, identified as university students, professors and professionals coming back to Canada after the winter holiday.

  8. A bump for Trump?


    President Trump has received praise for his measured speech this morning, appearing to de-escalate tensions with Iran.

    But has it helped his popularity?

    According to FiveThirtyEight - a statistics-based news website - the answer is not much.

    Throughout the US-Iranian conflict of the past week, FiveThirtyEight has found Trump's approval sitting steady - at around 41.9%, while his disapproval rating remains at around 53.3%.

  9. How did US media cover Trump's address?

    A look at the headlines across major US outlets.

    Frontpage of Fox
    NYT front page
    Post front page
    USA Today front page
    Wall Street Journal World front page
  10. Boris Johnson spoke with Trump today

    US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stand on stage during the annual Nato heads of government summit in December 2019.

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with President Trump today, the White House has confirmed.

    It said the two leaders discussed "the current situation in the Middle East and agreed to continue close coordination in support of shared national security interests."

    UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is set to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this evening. The meeting had originally been expected to take place on Thursday.

    In his speech, Mr Trump called for the UK and other countries to "break away from the remnants of the Iran deal".

    "We must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place,” he said.

  11. Has Trump broken international law?

    The US president has been accused of breaking international law with the US strike on Qasem Soleimani.

    Did he do anything illegal? And what other US presidents have faced similar accusations?

    Read the full analysis from the BBC's Tara McKelvey: Trump and the fuzzy legality of war

  12. US presidential hopefuls weigh in

    Several of the candidates hoping to oust Donald Trump from the White House this November have also chimed in about the president's remarks.

    View more on twitter
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    Joe Walsh, a Republican challenging Trump for the party's nomination, said "we can't believe anything this president says".

    View more on twitter
  13. The three key messages of Trump's address

    Jonathan Marcus

    BBC Diplomatic and defence correspondent

    President Trump’s speech was a curious amalgam of threats, bluster – and a touch of de-escalation. Nonetheless he still slapped-on more economic sanctions against Tehran. He triumphed in the killing of General Suleimani, who he described as “the world’s top terrorist.” But there were essentially three key messages.

    First, de-escalation. There were no US casualties caused by the Iranian missile strikes. He said that Iran was “standing down”, presumably returning its deployed missile forces to their bases. He did not threaten an immediate US response.

    Second, the nuclear deal. He called upon the other parties to the nuclear agreement - the JCPOA - which the US long-ago abandoned, to similarly give it up as a bad job.

    Third, stressing US energy independence, he called upon Nato countries “to become much more involved in the Middle East process”. This will inevitably be seen as another signal that the US is tiring of its role in the region and that will not be welcomed by his allies either in the Middle East or in Nato.

    So this was a speech full of Trumpian contradiction and the few references to a brighter future for the Iranian people provided little tangible hope of any new diplomatic initiative. In the wake of the US drone attack and Iran’s missile strikes, it appears to be back to business as usual.

  14. US Democrats say no schedule yet for vote on war powers resolution

    Senior US Democrats have told reporters that no schedule has been set yet for voting on a war powers resolution to limit President Trump's military actions regarding Iran.

    The officials said the legislation was still being drafted.

    Democratic lawmakers want to put a check on the president's powers after he failed to inform Congress ahead of the US drone strike that killed Soleimani.

    Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi has said the resolution will be introduced this week.

  15. Ex UK Foreign Office chief: What's the plan?

    Sir Simon Fraser, a former senior foreign office diplomat, spoke to the BBC ahead of Mr Tump's speech about the consequences of the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

    View more on twitter
  16. Trump campaign asks supporters to rate address

    The president's re-election campaign texted out a link to supporters after his televised address asking them to rate his performance.

    Other questions on the poll included: "Do you feel safer under President Trump's leadership?"

    And, "Who do you think is most fit to serve as Commander-in-Chief of the United States?" with the options to answer either "President Trump" or "A terrorist-apologist Democrat".

    The campaign pushed out hundreds of different Facebook ads days after Mr Trump ordered the strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, praising the "swift actions of our commander in chief".

    View more on twitter
  17. Watch: 'Iran appears to be standing down', says Trump

    Video content

    Video caption: Trump: 'Iran appears to be standing down'
  18. What do Iranians think of the missile attack?

    The BBC spoke to people inside Iran about what they thought of the missile attack. Here are a few of the responses.

    "This attack had to be done. War is not good but the USA has been a big bully lately. It had to be stopped. I am sure that Iran won’t take further steps." - Ramis

    "Iran’s attack was pathetic. One of the country’s biggest commanders was killed and in revenge, they [launch an] attack with no significant damage or casualties ...This was like a failed test for Iran and from now, Israel and the US can do anything." - Afshin

    "It was just some action to show the Iranian people that we took revenge. Both Iran and the US know the region’s current situation and neither wants to go to war. It was just a political act to start negotiations." - Nazanin

    "This attack was necessary. The US should know that if they want to harm us it won’t be without an answer." - Mohammad

  19. Dominic Raab lands in the US for security talks

    UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has landed in Washington DC for a talks with senior members of Congress and a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

    "A chance to discuss the importance of the UK/US security partnership and the need to de-escalate the situation in Iraq," he wrote on Twitter.

  20. Analysis: Has Trump diminished the threat of war?

    Aleem Maqbool

    BBC North America correspondent

    Donald Trump

    The missile launch may have been the most direct assault by Iran on the US for decades, but the apparent lack of casualties gave Donald Trump an opportunity to de-escalate tensions – one that he appears to have taken.

    The US President had previously promised to respond to an attack on any American target “quickly and fully” and in his words “perhaps in a disproportionate manner”.

    But – in a statement at the White House, surrounded by top officials – he said the attacks in Irbil and close to Baghdad constituted Iran “standing down”.

    He even talked of the US and Iran working together to counter the Islamic State group.

    Of course, there may be more retaliation to come from Tehran for the killing of its top general Qasem Soleimani, but the threat of all out war appears have diminished a little.