Last updated on January 17th, 2019
The White House asked the Pentagon to look up for options for military strikes against Iran as a response to two incidents in Iraq last September. Mortar shells and rockets were fired by militias, which exploded near US diplomatic facilities, as reported on Sunday.
Eventuality in regards to potential conflicts is normal. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, the seriousness of the request from the National Security Council terrorized defense and state officials.
“It definitely rattled people,” a former senior US administration official was quoted as saying. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”
The US and Iran are already midst a diplomatic war, with the US sanctioning Iran over incompetency of nuclear deal. If the US directly attacks Iran it would start-off a conflict between the two nations that would be really hard to stop.
The Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, declined to comment on the claims of the Wall. He was questioned by reporters while on his nine-nation tour of the Middle East, largely aimed at assuring the Arab nations are still aligned with the US.
The attacks back in September 11 were deemed by the US as a “proxy force to attack an American interest” to which Pompeo said that it will not stop them from responding against the prime actor, making clear that a military response was possible.
Later on Sunday, Axios reported that former defense secretary, James Mattis, had “deep concerns” about the White House request at the time, who believed that it risked creating a conflict with Iran.
Recently, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, ordered to withdraw troops from Syria, where the military was placed near Iranian troops and Iranian-backed militias. The decision came after it was declared that the nation had defeated the militias in the region. Despite, which the chances of potential clash remain high and the conditions highly fragile.
John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, and now the national security adviser, has also joined Pompeo in pushing for a much more aggressive posture towards Tehran. The tough stands from Bolton and Pompeo have thus further instigated concerns on how Baghdad could again become the proxy battleground between the US and Iranian interests.
Throughout military presence in Iran, the US embassy in Iraq’s capital was the target for Shia militias. They regularly attacked the embassy using rockets and mortars from as far as seven miles.
Asa’ib ahl al-Haq and Kataib Hezbollah, two of the biggest proxies of Iran in the region, have gained significant power in the last four years and pose a continuous threat., This has affected both the diplomatic and security arenas. The US government on that front, is in mood to back-down from fighting its greatest antagonists.