There were no apparent U.S. casualties after Iran’s missile barrage, giving “cautious” optimism inside and outside the Pentagon. Confirming details from earlier reports, President Trump said “only minimal damage was sustained.” He bolstered the sentiment after saying, “Iran seemed to be standing down and that the U.S. seeks peace with willing nations.” Despite the sentiment, he still warned the regime that if aggression continues, they will face economic sanctions and potential military reprisals. President Trump indicated that there was no imminent American military response. Pentagon leaders believe there is an opportunity to ease tensions between Iran and the U.S. given the results of the Iranian attack. However, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency, following the ballistic missile attack, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the attack was not enough. He referred to the attack as a “slap,” adding that the U.S. must leave the region. There is a possibility that Iran could turn to Iraqi Shia militias, such as Kataib Hezbollah, for support. Depending on the attacks, though, some inside the Pentagon still feel there is a possibility for de-escalation.
The Crossroads of Special Operations