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Trump Warns Iran Is ‘Planning a Sneak Attack on US Troops,’ Issues Threat

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday warned of a potential Iranian attack on U.S. forces in Iraq.

According to an afternoon tweet from the president, intelligence suggests Iran and its terror affiliates have been “planning a sneak attack” on American assets in the region.

Warning against such an attack, however, Trump said there would be a “very heavy price” exacted on the nation should U.S. interests be targeted in the coming weeks.

“Upon information and belief,” he wrote on Twitter, “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!”

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Far more aggressive with regard to Western influence in the Middle East at the outset of the new year, Iran has quieted substantially in recent weeks, reportedly grappling with the ballooning negative effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the outbreak, however, heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran flared with military posturing and sabotage events on both sides leading to an Iran-backed siege on the American embassy in Baghdad beginning Dec. 31, 2019, and carrying on into the new year.

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U.S. armed forces’ termination of ranking Iranian general, and reported mastermind of the embassy siege, Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike ordered by Trump on Jan. 3, in turn, resulted in substantial international backlash, as well as a series of Iranian military reactions.

According to the BBC, that reaction has included several Iran-backed missile strikes on coalition military bases in Iraq, none of which resulted in any American casualties.

Though the threat of a potential Iranian, or Iran-backed, attack on U.S. assets warned of Wednesday by Trump remains unconfirmed, sources do indicate the struggling nation might be newly motivated to lash out.

Iran has grown increasingly hard-pressed in its coronavirus response, under the thumb of harsh U.S. sanctions imposed by the Trump administration as tensions flared between the two nations in recent years and months, The Washington Post reported.

According to Al-Jazeera, the Iranian foreign ministry also told local media Wednesday that the nation was outraged over alleged American “warmongering” in light of reports the U.S. had deployed an increased number of Patriot air defense missile systems to Iraq last week.

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The deployment, in direct opposition to a nonbinding January vote by the Iraqi parliament to expel U.S. troops from the nation, was a hostile American showing of force, the Iranian foreign ministry said — one with the potential to trigger “instability and disaster.”

Pentagon spokesman Sean Robertson, however, said the deployment was simply carried out to provide U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq safety from the rare, but no less dangerous, missile strike from Iran and its proxy forces.

“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,” Robertson said, according to Al-Jazeera.

“It is important to note that repeated attacks on Iraqi bases, which violate Iraqi sovereignty, have killed and injured Iraqi, coalition, and U.S. service members,” he continued. “The establishment of ground-based air defenses in Iraq continues, but for operational security reasons, we are not providing status updates as those systems come online.”

The White House and Department of Defense did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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