Russia condemned U.S. airstrikes that killed a powerful Iranian commander in neighboring Iraq on Friday local time as a "reckless step" that risked "regional peace and stability" in the Middle East.
The United States killed General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, in a drone strike as he and an entourage left Baghdad's main airport by car.
Pentagon officials said U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the strike to prevent imminent attacks against American forces in the region.
Yet with Iran's leadership already vowing a military response, Russia openly questioned the White House's understanding of the violent forces it had unleashed.
"Such actions do not create ... find solutions to complex problems in the Middle East. On the contrary, it will lead to a new round of escalation of tensions in the region," said Russia's Foreign Ministry in a statement posted to its website.
In a separate statement, the ministry noted that Soleimani had "faithfully served and defended the national interests of Iran" and expressed condolences to the Iranian people over the commander's death.
The Kremlin's press service later announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the attack with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron by phone, with both sides agreeing "this action might seriously escalate tensions in the region."
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force controls sub-state Shia militias all over the Middle East. CSIS's Seth Jones and Joe Bermudez explain how Iran trains and deploys these proxy forces to expand their regional influence.
Mr Rouhani responded to the US President’s threat to strike 52 Iranian sites, by posting a cryptic tweet in which he told America to never threaten Iran and to “remember the number 290”. He wrote: “Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290.#IR655. Never threaten the Iranian nation.”
The figure 290 refers to the total number of passengers on Iranian Airways flight IR655 who died when their plane was accidentally shot down over the Persian Gulf by the US Navy in July 1988.
At least two airbases housing US troops in Iraq have been hit by more than a dozen ballistic missiles, according to the US Department of Defence.
Iranian state TV says the attack is a retaliation after the country's top commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike in Baghdad, on the orders of US President Donald Trump.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard said the attack was in retaliation for the death of Soleimani on Friday.
"We are warning all American allies, who gave their bases to its terrorist army, that any territory that is the starting point of aggressive acts against Iran will be targeted," it said via a statement carried by Iran's state-run IRNA news agency.
The attacks took place hours after the burial of Soleimani. A second shelling occurred in Irbil shortly after the first rockets hit the Al-Asad, Al Mayadeen TV said.
Iran launched more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi bases that hold US troops in what appears to be retaliation for the American airstrike that killed a top Iranian general last week, the Pentagon said Tuesday, confronting President Donald Trump with the biggest test of his presidency to date.
A US official told CNN that there were no initial reports of any US casualties, but an assessment of the impact of the strikes is underway. A preliminary report from an Iraqi security source indicated there were Iraqi casualties, but Iraqi security officials later told CNN there were no casualties among Iraqi security forces.
White House aides had initially made plans for a possible address to the nation by Trump, according to two officials, but a White House official said that Trump would not speak on Tuesday. The President later tweeted, "All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning."
The attack comes days after the US killed top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The administration has sought to cast that strike as an attempt to de-escalate tensions with Iran, but Tehran has vowed revenge for the killing, which it says was an "act of war" and "state terrorism." In a statement, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, an elite wing of the Iranian military that is also known as the IRGC, said the attacks were "hard revenge" for the death of Soleimani. The IRGC said in the statement that any country housing US troops could be subject to "hostile and aggressive acts" and called on American citizens to demand the government remove US troops from the region.