Will the U.S. Respond to Iran or Military Escalation is Over?
The military escalation appears to be over.
DESPARDES — President Trump’s Iran comments Wednesday suggests there won’t be a military response. The military escalation appears to be over, according to a live update by CNN.
Trump announced his administration will hit Iran with new sanctions in the wake of its attack on two Iraqi military bases housing US troops.
Iran carried out an attack against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq at 1:30am local time, launching more than twenty missiles against two military bases. Tehran immediately claimed responsibility for the strike, which it said was retaliation for the U.S. assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani on Friday. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps issued a statement warning of more attacks if the United States responded.
No U.S. or Iraqi casualties were reported.
“There are two possibilities (why Suleimani was assassinated), keeping in view the timing and the dispropotionate nature of Trump’s retaliation after mob attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad: Trump wants to push Middle East towards a military conflict, or it was an error of judgment” says a defense analyst.
On Wednesday, Trump also asked Europe to get behind his maximum pressure campaign and NATO to get more involved with Middle East peace. He said that the US had new hypersonic weapons to unleash if needed.
Iran would never have a nuclear weapon, he began by saying, and the deal intended to prevent that, he added, actually released money that Iran used to get the very weapons used last night. Most of his praise was for the military’s preparedness and the early warning system that saved American lives.
“We continue to evaluate options” he said. But an immediate military response won’t be one of them.
Earlier on Tuesday, administration officials said the United States would be prepared to respond to retaliation.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif seemed to signal that the missile attack “concluded” Iran’s response for Suleimani’s killing. “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense,” he tweeted.
Earlier on Tuesday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Quds Force chief (equivalent to Centcom Chief) was planning an attack on U.S. interests within “days.” Now, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other senior officials are being asked to testify about that intelligence before Congress, reports FP.