After Early Missile Alert, Officials Had Three Hours To Ready Bases And Prepare Responses

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a cabinet meeting at the Cabinet Room of the White House October 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump ... WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a cabinet meeting at the Cabinet Room of the White House October 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump held a cabinet meeting to discuss his administration’s agenda and made extensive remarks about impeachment and the situation on the Syrian/Turkish border. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 9, 2020 9:53 a.m.

More details have emerged about the early intelligence that helped ensure Tuesday’s Iranian missile strikes left no dead U.S. soldiers or damaged buildings at the Iraqi bases.

According to the New York Times, a three-hour early alert put the bases on high alert and sent military officials scrambling to plan responses — especially in case the strike hit any Americans.

The alert came as President Donald Trump was meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Vice President Mike Pence and White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien led the preliminary talks in the Situation Room.

A sizable group gathered, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA Director Gina Haspel via video, as the hours brought false alarms and fever-pitch tension about the possibility of loss of American life.

After the attacks subsided and officials got their first impression of Iran’s restraint, Trump and Pence made calls to their congressional allies. Some of the typically most hawkish Republicans urged deescalation.

Trump then decided to make an address the following day, editing his statement right up until he took the lectern. He told the country then that Iran was “standing down” but promised new “punishing” economic sanctions.

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