After the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps conducted missile attacks on American military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Lt. General Qassem Soleimani, Ayatollah Khamenei said in a speech to a gathering of people in Tehran on Wednesday morning that the US had "received a slap in the face last night."
In addition to the question of revenge for General Soleimani's assassination, what matters now is, the confrontation with the US that military action would not be enough, the Leader stressed.
"What is important is that the corruptive presence of the US in this region must end."
"They (Americans) have brought war, discord, sedition and destruction to this region; they brought about destruction of infrastructures," the Leader deplored.
Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that the US presence in the region would not be approved by regional nations, reports Tasnim News.
The Leader also paid tribute to General Soleimani for helping regional nations to foil the illegitimate plots of the US against West Asia, saying the revered commander helped thwart the American plots in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
Comments from the Leader came a couple of hours after the IRGC fired a volley of missiles at US bases in Iraq, fulfilling its promise of harsh revenge on General Soleimani's martyrdom.
Two US airbases in Iraq were targeted by the IRGC, including Ain al-Assad's US airbase in Anbar.
Iran's admin thanks IRGC for retaliatory attacks on US
Ali Rabiei, spokesman for the Iranian administration, also expressed his gratitude to the IRGC for the attacks on US bases in Iraq, reports Tasnim News.
"We thank and support the IRGC's successful operation aimed at fulfilling its honest promise," Rabiei said on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
"A legitimate response" was given to the US and it was aimed precisely the same location from which the US launched the assault on Iran, he said.
"We have not been after war, but any other aggression will get a tougher and more crushing response," the spokesman went on to say.
Speaking to Tasnim News on condition of anonymity, an informed source said the ballistic missiles launched by the IRGC on the US airbase in retaliation for the assassination of General Soleimani killed at least 80 "American terrorist forces".
"At least 104 targets from the positions of the Americans and their allies in the region have been identified, and if the Americans make any mistake again, those positions will be targeted," the source warned.
The source also said that the IRGC missile attack had seriously damaged a number of American drones and helicopters and a large amount of military equipment.
Fifteen missiles rained down on Ain al-Assad airbase, none of which were intercepted by the US army's radar system, the source stated, adding that the accuracy and destructive power of the missiles have been so high that a number of the missiles annihilated several sensitive targets simultaneously each.