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Trump tweets that Iran is planning a ‘sneak attack’ on US troops in Iraq

President Donald J. Trump addresses his remarks at the Nation’s Mayors on Transforming America’s Communities meeting Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)
April 01, 2020

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted a warning against Iran and its proxies carrying out what he described as a “sneak attack” on U.S. and assets in Iraq.

Trump did not provide details of the suspected attack, but warned against the action, with the threat that Iran will pay a “heavy price.”

“Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq,” Trump tweeted. “If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!”

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An attack by Iran or one of its proxies would continue a series of escalatory actions between the U.S. and Iraq over the last few months.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran reached reached a boiling point at the start of the new year after pro-Iranian militias in Iraq launched rocket attacks on U.S. positions in the country that resulted in the death of a U.S. contractor. Following U.S. retaliatory strikes against the militias, pro-Iranian groups attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq on Dec. 31, 2019.

Days later, the U.S. killed a top Iranian military leader, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, while he was present with members of one of the pro-Iranian militia groups in Baghdad, Iraq.

Iran launched its own retaliatory missile strike against two bases in Iraq that house U.S. soldiers, after which the tensions appeared to subside for a time.

Another round of escalatory attacks occurred in March after pro-Iranian Kata’ib Hezbollah militia launched several rockets at Camp Taji, Iraq, killing U.S. service members and one British service member and wounding 14 others. The U.S. again responded with a retaliatory strikes, hitting five suspected weapon storage facilities in Iraq believed to have been used by the militia group.

Recently, the U.S. government offered to send Iran medical relief to help the country deal with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, however Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei turned down the offer, citing conspiracy theories the U.S. created the virus using Iranian genetic material to specifically harm the country.

Iran has been hard hit by the coronavirus. According to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus case tracking map, the country has recorded more than 47,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths.