[size=36]He revealed why Washington had not responded to the Taji bombing and a report of a split in the US administration[/size]
While US President Donald Trump was preparing to declare the Corona Virus a "national emergency", an intense debate erupted inside the White House last Thursday between the President and his senior advisers on a completely different topic, which is whether the United States should step up action Military against Iran, which was destroyed by the epidemic, according to a report published by the New York Times.
One group, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Robert C. O'Brien, the National Security Adviser, urged a firm response to the missile attacks that killed two US soldiers at a base north of Baghdad, arguing that cracking down while Iran's leaders were busy fighting the coronavirus, which It is ravaging the country and may finally push them to direct negotiations.
But Defense Secretary Mark Esber and General Mark Millie, the chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retreated, saying that the Pentagon and intelligence agencies had no clear evidence that attacks by Shiite militias had been ordered by Iran and warned that a broad response could drag the United States into a wider war with Iran. , And tear the already strained relations with Iraq.
The military position prevailed at the meeting, at least for the time being. President Trump authorized air strikes on 5 weapons depots of armed factions inside Iraq, which were carried out at night to reduce potential human losses.
And the "New York Times" adds: This meeting is a glimpse of the crosswinds that blow the Trump administration's policy towards Iran and its proxies in Iraq less than three months after President Trump made an order to kill the Qods Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, who was planning operations across the Middle East.
US officials say there is little appetite between the president and some of his top advisers for a dangerous escalation with Iran, as leaders in Tehran are now busy trying to stem the Corona virus that has devastated the country. Iran has experienced one of the worst outbreaks of the disease in the world, and sectors of the country's leadership have been hit.
At least one of the country's top aides has died, and field hospitals have spread to parking lots, stadiums, and wedding halls to deal with a flood of patients.
President Trump is trying to manage his own response to the worsening Taji virus crisis, even as his administration continues to launch a "maximum pressure" campaign, economic war, and diplomatic pressure against Iran.
In the days after the U.S. air strikes on March 12, Hezbollah forces responded with missile attacks on US bases - including last Saturday's attack that wounded 3 Americans in Taji camp.
This escalation has left the United States with various undesirable options, according to US and Iraqi officials, and choosing not to respond may only lead to more attacks. A moderate response - such as hitting militia armories and headquarters - is likely to lead to more criticism of the Iraqi government. And the more aggressive American response that accidentally kills civilians, or Iraqi forces, risks undermining support for the Iraqi army.
US intelligence officials say they have no direct evidence that Iran ordered the March 11 missile attack that killed two members of the US forces and a British soldier. However, Tehran exercises indirect control and does not conduct any operations without the tacit support of Iraq even if the Revolutionary Guards do not choose the timing or force specified for the attacks by the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, according to an intelligence official.
While Soleimani’s successor continued to visit Iraq and work with Shiite militias there, Tehran’s control of the groups has diminished, according to US military and intelligence officials.
The newspaper points to a division within the US administration to respond militarily to Iran, and this division was presented during several high-level meetings on March 12, hours before President Trump's mandate to launch strikes.
Before Trump's meeting with his senior advisers, a lower-level meeting turned into a split when Brian Hook, the senior foreign ministry adviser for Iran, confronted officials in the Pentagon who had not seen him about military options before they were presented to Trump, according to senior administration officials at Be aware of the meeting.
Later that day, the discussion took place in front of the President, Foreign Minister Pompeo and others on the pretext that limited air strikes were more likely to perpetuate the cycle of violence than to break it. With the support of the new Director of the National Intelligence Agency, Richard Grenelle, the Foreign Secretary said that a more direct strike on Iran - such as hitting its navy ships - could surprise Tehran and push its leaders to the negotiating table.
The report notes that one of the main goals of the "maximum pressure" campaign by the Trump administration to impose economic sanctions is to paralyze the Iranian economy to the point that the government will agree to negotiate a new agreement on its nuclear program. This did not happen, and many US intelligence officials and regional experts do not believe that Iran is about to make such a move, especially with an election year in America.
Iran is in a weak position,
but there is widespread agreement among senior American officials that Iran, with its leadership destroyed by the coronavirus, is in a weak position. And US intelligence agencies have confirmed public reports that the epidemic has led to a dangerous division at higher levels in Iran. Iranian leaders have been affected by the coronavirus more than almost any other country, and have been concealing the virus from their colleagues, according to intelligence reports - adding to mistrust and divisions in the government.
Trump administration officials who call for military action against Iran have used those reports to take American military action against Iran. Foreign Minister Pompeo, Mr. Grignell, and others have argued that the measures taken so far have not deterred Iranian provocations. But President Trump's willingness to take drastic measures, such as striking General Soleimani, and the unpredictability of the president’s decisions, gives the United States an opportunity to impose a change in Tehran’s behavior.
As administration officials consider their next step, they are pressuring the Iraqi army to crack down on armed groups as the Pentagon moves Patriot air defense batteries and other systems to protect Iraqi bases, where the US and other allied forces are stationed.
Meanwhile, US administration officials are reviewing a host of additional targets, including air strikes on more militia weapons depots and logistical stores, as well as strikes against faction leaders and possibly Iranian ships, and officials have said that covert operations and cyber attacks are also being considered. Ended 29 / A 43