A 4.9 magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Iran early Wednesday morning, miles from its Bushehr nuclear power plant.
The earthquake struck hours after Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq — an attack they claim is part of their “Shahid [martyr] Soleimani Operation.”
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the attacks. No American casualties have been reported:
BREAKING: There were no American casualties from last night’s Iranian missile strikes that targeted two airbases in Iraq that host U.S. troops, sources tell me.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 8, 2020
The quake occurred “6 miles southeast of Borazjan and 40 miles from the site tied to Iran’s controversial nuclear program,” according to the Washington Times. The depth of the quake suggests it was, in fact, a natural event:
A 4.9 magnitude earthquake struck near #Iran's #Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. The depth and epicenter indicate it was a natural event and unrelated to this evenings events. A similar earthquake struck in late December. USGS report enclosed. https://t.co/WcfNffwSOm
— Strategic Sentinel (@StratSentinel) January 8, 2020
The missile strikes and earthquake coincided with the crashing of a Ukrainian passenger jet departing Tehran on Wednesday, killing the 176 people aboard, including 63 Canadians. No Americans were aboard the doomed airliner.
Iran is reportedly refusing to hand over the airliner’s black box, increasing suspicion of foul play.
President Trump is expected to address the nation at 11 a.m. ET.