President Donald Trump's order to kill a top Iranian general reportedly emerged from a series of high-level talks, including a basement bunker meeting last Sunday at Mar-a-Lago.
Reuters, citing unnamed officials, reported the decision to conduct airstrikes – after U.S. officials opted previously to hold fire – stemmed from compelling intelligence Gen. Qassem Soleimani was planning imminent attacks on U.S. diplomats and armed forces in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East.
According to Reuters, earlier objections were air strikes would risk thrusting the United States into another Middle East war that could engulf the region. It is not clear how those reservations were overcome, Reuters reported.
But the final straw presumably came after the storming of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad by pro-Iranian militiamen Tuesday, when the final order was given to "take the target packet off the shelf," one unnamed official told Reuters.
According to Reuters, one of the series of meetings presumably was held in windowless basement room built at the Florida resort to provide a secure space for classified discussions.
The array of options included targeting leaders of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces, the collective name for Shi'ite militias, many of them backed by Iran, and offensive cyber operations, but the decision was ultimately made to hit Soleimani, an unnamed official told the news agency.
An unnamed former senior administration official told Reuters that Soleimani had shown "brazen" overconfidence, especially after the killing of an American contractor at a base in northern Iraq attacked by the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia.
"He gave us an excuse to take a shot," the unnamed official said.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.