January 10, 2017
Iranian-supplied rockets killed as many as 15 U.S. troops per month in Iraq in the summer of 2011, and Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis had a plan to retaliate. The Obama administration denied his request.
Six U.S. soldiers were killed in a single such attack in early June of 2011, with another three killed just weeks later. Mattis, then the commander of U.S. Central Command, had had enough and decided the U.S. must strike back before the Iranian rockets caused further bloodshed. In conjunction with then Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey, Mattis proposed a strike inside Iranian territory, according to former senior U.S. officials speaking to the Washington Post.
The plan was to make it clear to the the Iranian government that providing rockets to its Shiite proxy insurgents inside Iraq was no longer going to be tolerated. Mattis suggested a nighttime strike against a power plant or oil refinery within Iranian territory.
The White House received the strike proposal and subsequently denied it. President Barack Obama was under the impression such a strike would infuriate the Iranians, possibly escalating the Iraqi occupation he was trying so desperately to end. Many White House staffers feared the plan risked starting a war with Iran, a country Obama wanted to seek a detente with.
This article was posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 5:44 am