- According to reports, due to the increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran, a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, told Iran-linked militia groups in Iraq to “prepare for proxy war.”
- The U.S. has already accused these militias of threatening American forces by moving missiles closer to them.
- The report says that Soleimani held the meeting with the militia groups about three weeks ago.
- A source familiar with the meeting said “It wasn’t a call to arms, but it wasn’t far off.”
- Earlier this week, President Trump’s administration pulled non-essential employees from Iraq, presumably in regards to this meeting.
- A Wall Street Journal report suggested that “both Iran and the U.S. may have misread each other as being offensive rather than defensive,” where Iran thought the U.S. was going to attack, so they prepared to counter.
- However, some members of the Trump administration disagrees with the WSJ report and believes Iran planned to attack.
- Iran’s foreign minister said: “We believe that escalation by the United States is unacceptable and uncalled for. We have exercised maximum restraints.”