President Donald Trump’s excuse for ordering the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Suleimani is being disputed by Iraqi intelligence officials who say an attack Trump nearly started a war with Iran over was actually perpetrated by ISIS.

An American contractor was killed by a rocket attack against an airbase known as K-1 in Kirkuk Province last year. Trump would go on to blame Iran-linked group Khataib Hezbollah even though the group denied responsibility.

In response, Trump used the attack to justify ordering the assassination of Suleimani, which escalated tensions in the region and could have sparked World War III. In addition to having a large military of their own, Iran is also allied with Russia and China.

Iran would go on to retaliate by firing missiles at an Iraqi military base, resulting in 34 American soldiers suffering brain injuries that Trump has dismissed as mere “headaches.”

But now Iraqi intelligence officials say that Trump’s excuse is bunk, because they believe ISIS, not Khataib Hezbollah, is the true culprit.

“All the indications are that it was Daesh (ISIS),” Iraqi chief of intelligence at K-1 Brigadier General Ahmed Adnan told the New York Times. “We know Daesh’s movements.”

According to the New York Times report:

Iraqi military and intelligence officials have raised doubts about who fired the rockets… saying they believe it is unlikely that the militia the United States blamed for the attack.

The rockets were launched from a Sunni Muslim part of Kirkuk Province notorious for attacks by the Islamic State, a Sunni terrorist group, which would have made the area hostile territory for a Shiite militia like Khataib Hezbollah.

Khataib Hezbollah has not had a presence in Kirkuk Province since 2014.

The Islamic State, however, had carried out three attacks relatively close to the base in the 10 days before the attack on K-1. Iraqi intelligence officials sent reports to the Americans in November and December warning that ISIS intended to target K-1, an Iraqi air base in Kirkuk Province that is also used by American forces…

These facts all point to the Islamic State, Iraqi officials say.

The Trump administration claims to have evidence that Iran is behind the attack, but has not revealed any such evidence to anyone, including Iraqi officials, even though Trump had Suleimani assassinated in their country and has put their country directly in harm’s way through his actions.

It should also be pointed out that Trump’s abandonment of Syria and our Kurdish allies in the region has resulted in a surge by ISIS, a terrorist group that has clear motive to cause a war between Iran and the United States. After all, Iran has helped the United States fight ISIS. Therefore, ISIS would benefit from just such a war between the two.

Going to war with Iran would have been a costly mistake. American lives would have been lost and the expense would have been astronomical. And all because Trump blamed the wrong group for an attack in his obsession with finding an excuse to target Iran.

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