President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Iran or one of the militia groups it controls is planning to make a sneak attack on American assets in the region.
“Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq,” Trump wrote in a Twitter post. “If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!”
The president didn’t offer any more details about a potential attack.
Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq. If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2020
Iranian proxy militia groups have targeted U.S. troops housed in several Iraqi bases.
Iran launched a barrage of rockets at two bases earlier this year, causing minor injuries to more than 100 soldiers after the United States killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. The United States carried out a drone strike that killed Soleimani after Iranian-backed militia groups killed an American contractor and tried to storm the American Embassy in Baghdad.
Earlier this month, at least two American soldiers were killed in a rocket attack on a base in Iraq. U.S. Central Command spokesman Capt. William Urban confirmed to news outlets that the soldiers and another coalition member were killed after about 10 rockets were launched by Iran-backed proxies.
Iran on Wednesday warned the United States after Patriot missile systems were reportedly deployed in the Middle East.
“The U.S. is moving defensive systems into Iraq to protect Iraqi, coalition, and U.S. service members from a variety of air threats seen at Iraqi bases that host coalition troops,” Pentagon spokesperson Sean Robertson said.
The U.S. deployment runs “counter to the official position of the Iraqi government, parliament, and people,” according to a statement from the Iranian foreign ministry.
Iran then accused the United States of “warmongering during the coronavirus outbreak” and called on the United States to cease military activities, claiming it will lead to “instability and disaster.”
Tehran has reported more than 3,000 deaths from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, although experts are skeptical of the number.
American soldiers should “respect the wishes of the Iraqi people and government and leave the country,” the Iranian foreign ministry said.
In late March, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran refused to follow U.S. air restrictions amid the CCP virus pandemic.
“In February, Iran’s chief terror airline, Mahan Air, continued to fly at least 55 times between Tehran and China, spreading the #WuhanVirus. At least five countries’ first cases of #COVID19 were a direct result of the Iranian regime’s disregard for everyone’s health,” Pompeo wrote.
But Pompeo added that Iran is asking for more money, and since 2012, it sent $16 billion to terrorist proxies in the Middle East.
They also stole money “intended for medical supplies, and continue to hoard desperately needed masks, gloves, and equipment for sale on the black market,” he said.