Top national security advisers told President Donald Trump that the air raids against Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria were a total success – and briefed him on ‘other’ ways to punish Iran for the alleged attacks on US interests.
“We will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy,” US State Secretary Mike Pompeo declared, standing beside Defense Secretary Mark Esper at a press event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club.
The Pentagon chief in the meantime said the Sunday strikes were successful and that officials discussed ‘other options’ with Trump.
Earlier in the day, US F-15 fighter jets struck three Kataib Hezbollah targets at Qaim near the Syrian border, and two in Syria. According to the Shiite militia group, at least 25 of their fighters were killed and nearly three dozens injured in the strikes. Washington blames the group for alleged “repeated attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces.”
Pompeo threatened Tehran earlier this month with a “decisive US response” should its sponsored militias continue their attacks on US forces, even though Iran’s involvement has not been conclusively proven. On Friday, as if on cue, the latest rocket attack on a base near Kirkuk killed an American contractor and injured several US troops.
Facing the increasing possibility of proxy war between Washington and Tehran breaking out on his soil, Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called an emergency meeting of his security council on Sunday night.
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