On Wednesday morning, in retaliation for the U.S. assassination of military leader Qasem Soleimani, Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. This action marks the most direct Iranian attack on the U.S. in almost 40 years.

Early reports suggest Iran may have intentionally avoided loss of life in the attack in an attempt to make a statement—and to address anger among its public—without escalating the situation in a way that would lead to a large-scale military confrontation. President Donald Trump stated that no Americans had died in the attack, and he and announced no new military actions. Whether the current crisis calms down or boils over, however, hostilities are likely to continue to at least simmer. To learn more about the technology at Iran’s disposal and how the nation is using it against the U.S., Scientific American spoke with Chris Meserole, a fellow in foreign policy and expert in artificial intelligence and emerging technology at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.–based think tank.

Any such attack that results in any death or injury to Americans will be regarded as an act of war. Period. Better cool your jets over there. You just got a free pass. That won't be the case should it happen again. To read more, click here.