Don Young

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, fills out the paperwork to run for his 25th term in Congress. Photo courtesy Alaskans for Don Young

Details are still emerging from Iran’s Tuesday night missile attacks on multiple Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops, but NATO told the Associated Press on Wednesday its office has not received any reports of casualties. 

The same message was communicated by President Donald Trump during an address to the nation Wednesday morning. 

“We suffered no casualties,” he said. “All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.”

Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young celebrated the news Wednesday in a statement released to members of the media.

“We are all very grateful that no American service members were harmed by last night’s attacks by Iran on military installations in Iraq. I am especially thankful that our Alaska-based soldiers serving in Iraq are safe and accounted for following the strike, and pray for their continued safety,” Young said. 

Approximately 2,200 soldiers from Fort Wainwright are stationed in Iraq, nearly half of the approximately 5,000 U.S. troops in the country. 

Even with the reported avoidance of casualties, Young implored continued vigilance. 

“We must be clear-eyed about this situation; Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism and continues to be a bad-faith actor in the diplomatic arena,” he said.

“Qasem Soleimani was a terrorist who committed heinous atrocities and facilitated human rights abuses against the oppressed people of Iran. Freedom-loving people everywhere shed no tears for his loss, and our world is a safer place without him. America’s military is strong and stands ready to defend our citizens, allies, and way of life against further aggression by the Iranian regime.”

The Senate received a classified briefing Wednesday afternoon on the attacks. Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski did not have an updated statement following the briefing, but previously expressed concern over the tensions between the two countries, noting she was keeping U.S. troops in her prayers. 

During his Wednesday address, Trump noted that no Iraq lives were reported to have been lost in the attacks. 

While worry ran amok of possible war on the horizon following the missile strikes Tuesday night, Trump said Wednesday that any U.S. response would be economic retaliation first. 

Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan –– who previously said the United States’ killing of Soleimani was justified –– told a KTUU reporter in Washington on Wednesday that he spoke to Trump on the phone that morning, urging the president to move toward negotiations rather than military action. 

“If there is an opportunity right now to move forward and not having retaliation but actually try to move forward on negotiations with Iran, my view is that you should take this opportunity,” Sullivan said he told the president.

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.