State Department officials involved in US embassy security were not made aware of imminent threats to four specific US embassies, CNN reports, citing two State Department officials who also undermined President Donald Trump's claims that the top Iranian general he ordered killed earlier this month posed an imminent threat to the diplomatic outposts.
US State Department was not notified of 'imminent' threats to embassies
STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 14, ARTSAKHPRESS: Without knowledge of any alleged threats, the State Department did not issue warnings about specific dangers to any US embassy before the administration targeted Qasem Soleimani, Iran's second most powerful official, according to the sources.
The State Department sent a global warning to all US embassies before the strike occurred, a senior State Department official said and the department spokesperson confirmed, but it was not directed at specific embassies and did not warn of an imminent attack.
One senior State Department official described being "blindsided" when the administration justified the deadly Reaper drone strike on Soleimani by saying Iran's "shadow commander" was behind an imminent threat to blow up US embassies. CNN has reached out to the White House for comment on claims that the State Department officials were taken by surprise.
Trump claimed at an Ohio rally that Soleimani "was actively planning new attacks," then told Fox News, "I believe it probably would've been four embassies," naming Baghdad as one. Senior administration officials around the President have repeatedly pointed to danger facing US embassies in the Middle East.