RNA - It was a "major turning point”, McCaffrey told MSNBC on Friday, hours after the top Iranian commander, Deputy Commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shabi, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and several others were martyred in a targeted assassination raid by US aircraft in Iraq.
"[President Donald] Trump tweeting out an American flag, taking personal responsibility for it, escalates the situation in a very dangerous manner. I don’t think they thought through it,” he continued, noting there is very little structural support in Iraq for American troops to rely on.
“The embassy is clearly vulnerable,” McCaffrey said, just days after hundreds of Iraqi protesters furious over the Washington's deadly raids against Kataib Hezbollah popular forces had sieged the US embassy compound in Baghdad earlier this week, calling for the expulsion of the US ambassador and American military servicemen from the Arab country.
“The Iranians have a tactical advantage on the ground, so one brigade of the 82nd is not even remotely capable of defending our position in Iraq," the army general stressed.
"Our advantage is strategic air and naval power," he said, adding, "But it means attacking Iran directly."
Even as Washington warned Americans to leave Iraq after the airstrike that assassinated General Soleimani, another 3,000-3,500 US airborne troops will be deploying to Kuwait to join the 750 already there, according to reports. But, the deployment does not appear to be directly in response to the assassination of the head of the Qods Force.
"So I think the Iranians are going to respond in some way and if it’s a successful and striking attack on US interests or senior military leaders, I would anticipate the Persian Gulf War will begin anew,” McCaffrey warned.
The Pentagon has announced that President Donald Trump authorized a US military strike near Baghdad's airport which resulted in the martyrdom of General Soleimani.
Iranian officials branded the airstrike an “act of international terrorism” and promised retaliation. Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has stated that the Unites States must await a tough revenge.
Iran has time and again warned that it will not be the initiator of any war, but reserves the right to self defense and will give a crushing response to any act of aggression by the United States. As the terror attack on General Soleimani has been interpreted even by many politicians and experts in the US as a declaration of war, Iran is expected to unleash the crushing second strike that it had long vowed to come after any US first strike.