Skip to main content

Intel: How Trump laid legal groundwork to strike Iran after Iraqi militia attacks

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks about airstrikes by the U.S. military in Iraq and Syria, at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., December 29, 2019. With him are U.S. Army General Mark Milley and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. REUTERS/Tom Brenner - RC2C5E9P88JE

Mounting tensions between US forces and Tehran-backed proxies in Iraq could lead to broader American military action against Iran. If that happens, President Donald Trump already has at his disposal a legal opinion the State Department submitted to Congress last June.

“We do not make a distinction between the Iranian regime and any of its proxies that they organize, train and equip,” a senior State Department official told reporters today. “We are not giving Iran the fiction of deniability any longer.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.