“I believe, based on what I saw and what I know, that [the strikes] were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and equipment and aircraft, and to kill personnel,” Army General Mark Milley told reporters on Wednesday.
“That’s my own personal assessment,” he added. “But the analytics is in the hands of professional intelligence analysts. So they’re looking at that.”
Milley did not elaborate whether those were the same analysts who “assessed” the truthfulness of the now-debunked ‘Russiagate,’ or the equally phantom existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, used to justify the 2003 invasion.
The overnight attacks on Al-Asad airbase and Erbil involved over a dozen ballistic missiles, fired by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in revenge for the US drone strike that killed General Qassem Soleimani, one of the IRGC’s top commanders.
The Iraqi government confirmed that it had received advance warning about the strikes from Iran, enabling US troops to take precautionary measures and activate their “finest in the world” air defenses. No lives were lost as a result.
ALSO ON RT.COMNew sales pitch? US makes the world’s ‘finest’ anti-air systems, but sometimes they just don’t work, Pompeo explainsBoth Iran and the US declared victory and stood down on Wednesday morning, with US President Donald Trump describing the outcome as “a good thing for all parties concerned.”
It was a stunning turn from Tuesday’s hard line championed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and not everyone at the Pentagon seems happy about it, if Milley’s comments are anything to go by.
‘Worst military briefing ever’
Pentagon officials sent to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers on the almost-war apparently didn’t do too well either. Emerging from the classified briefing, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) gave a blistering denunciation of what he heard as “probably the worst briefing I’ve seen, at least on a military issue,” adding that the military could not name a single instance in which they would feel it necessary to ask for congressional approval.
ALSO ON RT.COM‘No lives lost’: Trump holds fire on ‘big missiles,’ talks peace after Iran’s strikes on US bases in IraqExact details of the briefing are classified, but Lee hinted that the military apparently told lawmakers that they could not debate or discuss the strike that killed Soleimani, or whether a military intervention against Iran was legal, as that would signal division and weakness to Tehran.
“It is not acceptable for officials within the executive branch of government…to come in and tell us that we can’t debate and discuss the appropriateness of military intervention against Iran,” Lee fumed afterward. “It’s un-American. It’s unconstitutional and it’s wrong.”
Lee and fellow Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said the briefing convinced them to change their mind and support the War Powers resolution proposed by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate.