US Intelligence Knew Iran Used Commercial Satellite Images to Target US Base in 2020 Missile Attack

Screenshot via 60 Minutes on YouTube

Iran reportedly used commercial satellite imagery to target the U.S. military base at al-Asad Air Base in Iraq during last year’s reprisal attack for President Trump’s drone strike against Iranian terror master Qassem Soleimani. The CBS 60 Minutes TV news reported how Iran tried to use commercially available satellite imagery to monitor and then attack the base with a barrage of ballistic missiles days after the Soleimani strike.

The report said that Iran purchased satellite images of the base on the day of the attack, and U.S. Central Command was aware of it. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin said that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie then closely tied the evacuation of the base to the timing of Iran’s purchase of the satellite imagery.

According to C4ISR.net, “McKenzie waited until Iran had purchased its last satellite image of the day before evacuating the base, ensuring that Iran was acting on out-of-date images, he said in the interview.” McKenzie also explained: “If you go too early, you risk the problem that the enemy will see what you have done and adjust his plans.”

He added: “They [Iran] would have seen airplanes on the ground and people working. I think they expected to destroy a number of U.S. aircraft and to kill a number of U.S. service members.”

This, and other early intelligence that an attack was imminent, combined with a critical early warning from the Space Force’s missile warning satellite system, however, ensured a far different outcome.

Instead of a deadly attack, noted C4ISR.net:

…the missile attack damaged the base, equipment and a helicopter, and 110 people had to be treated for traumatic brain injuries. But no one was killed…

It is unclear which satellite imagery provider Iran used to obtain the images, or how and when the U.S. military knew Iran was purchasing the images of the base.

But, as commercially available satellite imagery has gotten ever more sophisticated and high resolution, the issue of commercial satellite imagery being used by rogue regimes and terror groups has grown dramatically.

For now, at least, it appears the U.S. intelligence community and Pentagon still have the upper hand.

Paul Crespo

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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VIRGINIA
VIRGINIA
1 month ago

OBAMA GAVE IRAN 1.7 TRILLION LESS KICKBACKS SUPRIZED IRAN DOES NOT HAVE THIER OWN SATELLITE! CLINTON SOLD IRAN URANIUM FOR BOMBS TO KILL OUT MILITARY. WORRY ABOUT WHAT HAS CROSSED OUT BOARDS ALL READY HERE!

Robert Sohn
Robert Sohn
1 month ago

Pray for those in leadership in U.S. Intelligence to thwart the attacks of the enemy in advance. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty in an ever growing and connected world because of complex and advanced technology. May those in U.S. Intelligence be one step ahead of the curve and have the courage and resolve to act swiftly when needed and remain steadfast in their task of national security. God bless.

Nonips
Nonips
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Sohn

We’re do you live can’t be America when idiots put in criminals whores in charge by cheating and the American People allowed it what a joke

Omega 2
Omega 2
1 month ago

SO NOW ATTACK IRANS SATTILITE PROGRAM AND LOCK IT OUT OF THE COMMERCIAL FREQUENCY!

Kenneth Barr
Kenneth Barr
1 month ago

Why is anyone allowed to purchase this info from America?? Does the government just want our bases and soldiers to be attacked ??? For Heavens sake, how stupid can you Government & Military Officials Be!! Shame on you all!!!!

Nonips
Nonips
1 month ago
Reply to  Kenneth Barr

Democratic communist do they want America destroyed and have stepped up their pace sense obama the traitors of his administration never were arrested prosecuted and shot for TREASON

John Doe
1 month ago
Reply to  Kenneth Barr

Maybe they want it for sale so they can monitor the sale and evacuate the base when the last image was bought. Sort of gives you the upper hand. Not so stupid.

Ben Matthews
Ben Matthews
1 month ago

C’mon man! Now, they have someone in the WH with ‘brain trauma’ with Nurse Ratched, in tow, as well…?

Bob L.
Bob L.
1 month ago

I’m not surprised that Iran uses Google Earth to locate targets.

The U.S. had to use National Geographic maps during the early part of World War Two because they were more up to date and accurate than the War Department’s maps.

Robo
Robo
1 month ago

Is our satellite information on the net, floating around for any tom dick or prirck to use? Mapping by hacking, targeting by hacking, we got to stop this crap.

Joe M
Joe M
1 month ago

Here is proof of the sell-out. we knew of how they operate and the administration did nothing to prevent it. COST America many lives which was preventable. This administration, through ignorance and stupidity is willing to sell this country just to fatten their own pockets and positions, the Citizen be damned!

Nonips
Nonips
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe M

Yep and we allowed these criminals that should be in prison in solitary confinement

Nonips
Nonips
1 month ago

Blow the out of the sky then wipe Iran off the map


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