It does seem odd that the Iranians attacked two military bases with twenty missiles and yet no one was injured. Now we have a plausible reason why. The Americans knew the attack was coming.
Two Iraqi officers stationeda t Ain Al-Asad, one of the bases hit, said that for eight hours before the attack U.S. and Iraqi soldiers worked to move all personnel and weaponry to fortified bunkers. By midnight, all jet fighters and helicopters were secure. The missiles hit around 1:30 am, striking empty bunkers, leaving no casualties.
It was the worst kept military secret in a long time, which leaves you wondering, did the the Iranians tell the Americans and Iraqis it was coming? It sure looks that way.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters the day of the strikes that there was “no doubt” that Iran had the “full intention” of killing U.S. personnel. That echoed earlier comments from Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, who credited U.S. intelligence – rather than warnings or leaks from Tehran – with the advanced notice that allowed U.S. troops to avoid casualties.
But we’re getting a different story from the Iraqis.
An advisor to Iraq Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said Iran did not directly notify Iraq until shortly before the missile strike – but said Iran passed warnings through other countries. Both Iraq and the United States were warned of the impending strike by one Arab country and one European country.
The advisor said:
“Iran was keen that both the Americans and Iraqis be aware of the strikes before they occurred.”
Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif tweeted that Iran had “concluded” its retaliation and “did not seek escalation or war.”
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Aerospace Force, was later quoted in state media saying:
“We did not intend to kill. We intended to hit the enemy’s military machinery.”