Introduction – Jan 9, 2020
Days before the Iranian missile strikes President Trump had warned Iran that should it retaliate for the assassination of General Soleimani the U.S. would hit back “very hard”.
Well Iran did retaliate and apart from some huffing and puffing, Trump did nothing.
Was the absence of retaliation because no U.S. service personnel were killed of injured in the Iranian missile strike on two U.S. bases? Could that be because the U.S. was indirectly warned of the impending Iranian attack and was therefore able to minimise casualties? Is this why President has not made good on his promise to hit back “very hard” if Iran retaliated?
In fact there are credible reports that a Swiss diplomatic channel exchanged messages between Iranian and U.S. officials during the face-off.
Does this account for the sudden easing of tensions between Tehran and Washington?
Iraq says Iran warned them of missile attack before it happened
Yaron Steinbuch – New York Post Jan 8, 2020
Iraq’s prime minister’s office said Wednesday that Iran had notified Baghdad about its imminent missile strike on US troops stationed at two military bases.
“We received an official verbal message from the Islamic Republic of Iran that the Iranian response to the assassination of Qassem Soleimani had begun or would begin shortly, and that the strike would be limited to where the US military was located in Iraq without specifying the locations,” premier Adel Abdel Mahdi’s office said, Agence France-Presse reported.
The prime minister’s office said it was simultaneously contacted by the US, as the missiles hit the sprawling Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq and a base in Arbil, both housing American and other foreign forces deployed as part of a US-led coalition fighting the remnants of ISIS.
The attack was in response to the killing of the senior Revolutionary Guard major general in a US drone strike in Baghdad last week.
“We immediately warned Iraqi military commanders to take the necessary precautions,” it said, adding that no Iraqi forces had been hurt in the attack.
“Iraq rejects any violation of its sovereignty and attacks on its territory,” the office added, without specifically condemning the missile strikes.
It said Abdel Mahdi was holding discussions with domestic and foreign partners to prevent an “open war.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier said he had spoken to Masrour Barzani, prime minister of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.
It remained unclear, though, if there was any contact between Pompeo or any other top US official and Abdel Mahdi.