One defense official says Miller’s idea of de-escalation had not been adopted as a formal, approved policy. It took top commanders by surprise, several defense sources said. US Central Command wanted the carrier to stay in the region to deter Iran at a time of rising tension and less than three weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
The White House and NSC did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
“No one should doubt the resolve of the United States of America,” he said.
January 3rd marked one year since the US assassinated Iran’s second most powerful leader, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, and Iraqi Shia militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike. US officials have been concerned that Iran or its proxies would mark the date by retaliating.
Instead, the day passed quietly, with Iran-affiliated leaders sending their own de-escalation signals. On Sunday, the leader of the Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite militia group Kataib Hezbollah issued a statement saying the group would not try to “enter” the US Embassy in Baghdad or seek to overthrow the current Iraqi government, even as crowds gathered in Baghdad’s Tahrir square Sunday to demand that US forces leave the country.
“We will not enter the embassy of evil today, and we will not overthrow this government, as there is still time,” Abu Hussein Al-Hamidawi said in the statement. The US has previously accused Kataib Hezbollah of being behind attacks on US facilities.
This story is breaking and will be updated.