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IT’S feared that Iran will attack the US within days as revenge for the death of General Qasem Soleimani – and the incoming Biden administration is most likely not prepared.
The Trump administration, set to end on January 20, has refused to coordinate a military handover to Joe Biden’s team, the president-elect said on Monday.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said this week that Soleimani’s assassination in a targeted US drone strike one year ago put the nail in the coffin of President Donald Trump’s “crazy” regime.
“One of the consequences of this shameless and foolish deed is the end of Trumpism,” Rouhani said during a televised session of the Iranian cabinet.
“A few days from now, the rule of this savage and crazy murderer will end, and the whole history of his regime will go into the dustbin of history.
“I’m confident that after Trump the situation concerning security and stability in the region will become significantly better,” Rouhani added.
On Thursday morning, Senator Lindsey Graham, a top ally of Trump, warned during an interview with Fox News that there will be pushback from the US.
“Be careful what you do with Trump,” the Republican senator from South Carolina spoke of Iran.
Earlier this week, Biden said his incoming administration has "encountered obstruction" and "roadblocks" from “political leadership” within the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget.
He said this will weaken and undermine national security as the US transitions into another presidency.
"Right now, as our nation is in a period of transition, we need to make sure that nothing is lost in the handoff between administrations,” Biden said.
“My team needs a clear picture of our force posture around the world and our operations to deter our enemies,” he added, adding it’s essential “in order to avoid any window of confusion or catch up that our adversaries may try to exploit."
"Right now, we just aren't getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It's nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility."
In addition to threats from Iran, the US government was hacked by Russians who targeted the Treasury and Commerce Departments, as well as Microsoft, and infiltrated a US nuclear weapons stockpile as part of a nine-month "virtual invasion.”
Hackers used various techniques, including the corruption of updates from network management app SolarWinds.
A Nato source told Business Insider: "The refusal to coordinate the handover of the most powerful military force in the world in a united, responsible manner would be almost unthinkable.”
"Except of course it's 2020 and we are talking about the incredibly selfish, irresponsible a*****e called Donald Trump."
On Wednesday, the US again flew B52 bombers to the Middle East as a show of force against Iran – the third time in 45 days.
The military’s US Central Command said the nuclear-capable jets were sent “ to underscore the US military's commitment to regional security and demonstrate a unique ability to rapidly deploy overwhelming combat power on short notice.”
On January 3, 2020, Soleimani was killed in a targeted attack – ordered by Trump after Iranian-backed militias had fired rockets at US targets – outside the airport in Baghdad, Iraq.
Soleimani's death was described by Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation of Defence of Democracies, an expert on Iran as "bigger" than the death of Osama bin Laden and that would be a "massive blow to the regime."
"Bigger than [Hezbollah's Imad] Mugniyeh. Bigger than [Islamic state leader Abu Bakr] Baghdadi. For two decades, Soleiman has been the most powerul, savvy & effective terrorist on the planet," he tweeted.
"He's enjoyed full backing of powerful terrorist state. Irreplaceable."
According to Fox News, a senior US military official said Iran wants to "avenge" the killing of Soleimani.
The official told Fox they noticed "potential for other more complex attacks" against Americans in Iraq.
He added: "I think it is likely that the US Embassy in Baghdad would be attacked again in some manner."
"We're seeing planning for, particularly in Iraq for complex attacks that require Iranian assistance in order to be pulled off," the official said.
"It's unclear to us, whether it's contingency planning, or whether it's a plan that is advancing because approval has been given and they're just trying to get all the pieces in place and execute."
The official said possible attacks could include short-range ballistic missiles or potentially "unmanned systems," cruise missiles, and "quad copters."
"The scale of that planning and the complexity of the attacks that are envisioned are something that has certainly got our attention."
As of Wednesday morning, Iran had not publicly responded to the B-52 bomber mission.
Last week, Trump issued a threat against Iran, saying he would “hold Iran responsible” for any deaths after the US Embassy in Baghdad was attacked by rockets.
“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,” the president tweeted.
Officials said that that on December 20, the embassy in Baghdad was targeted by eight Katyusha rockets and that some buildings inside the fortified diplomatic Green Zone were damaged.
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