WASHINGTON, DC —President Donald Trump’s national security adviser reportedly asked the Pentagon last year to give the White House options to strike Iran. John Bolton’s request came after a group aligned with Iran fired three mortar shells into Baghdad’s diplomatic quarter, where the U.S. Embassy is located, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
The shells landed in an open lot and no one was hurt. A Shiite militia group eventually claimed responsibility for the attack, the report said. A couple days after that, militants fired three rockets that that landed somewhat close to the American consulate. Those shells did not result in major damage and no one claimed responsibility for it.
But after the second batch of rockets were launched, the White House decided it needed to send Iran a message, The Journal reported. Trump’s national security team held multiple meetings and talked about forcefully responding to the attacks. Among the options was an unusual request: hitting Iran, the Journal reported, citing anonymous current and former U.S. officials. The ideas reportedly raised alarm bells in the heads of people at the Pentagon and State Department.
“It definitely rattled people,” a former senior U.S. administration official told the newspaper. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”
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