Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

After Iran's launch of more than a dozen ballistic missiles last night at U.S. forces in Iraq, an initial search found zero American casualties, U.S. officials said.

Why it matters: Experts see that aftermath as a best-case scenario for de-escalation despite the fact that President Trump drew the brightest red line of his presidency when he tweeted a warning Saturday to Iran about hitting "American assets."

  • The lack of casualties could provide an off-ramp for Trump to declare victory and say the Iranians couldn't touch the U.S.
  • Iranians could claim they defended their honor.
  • Then everyone could walk away, and de-escalate.

A Pentagon statement on the strikes said: "It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil."

  • Trump tweeted Saturday that "if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets," the U.S. had targeted 52 Iranian sites that could be hit "VERY FAST AND VERY HARD."

The latest on Iran's retaliatory strike, via AP:

  • U.S. embassies and consulates from Asia to Africa and Europe issued security alerts for Americans.
  • The FAA warned of a “potential for miscalculation or mis-identification” for civilian aircraft in the Persian Gulf amid in an emergency flight restriction.
  • A Ukrainian airliner later burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Tehran, but officials said they believe a mechanical issue caused the crash, which occurred just hours after Iran's retaliatory strike.

Trump, who'll address the nation this morning, tweeted: "All is well!"

  • "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!"

A hopeful signal from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who tweeted: "Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense ... We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."

  • Between the lines: "Concluded" is the key word.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.