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Officials: Iran tones down posture in Iraq

zarif kad

Iran has shifted its military strategy regarding U.S. forces in Iraq ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November, reducing the number of rockets launched at bases and potentially withholding its response to the January killing of its top general, according to an intelligence assessment described by U.S. officials.

Some U.S. officials and analysts said Iran and its backed groups are unlikely to launch a provocative attack that could have the effect of rallying U.S. public support for President Trump in the weeks leading up to the election.

“If they do not want to see him re-elected, the worst thing they can do is do something to rile up the American public,” said a U.S. official who follows the region.

While the frequency of rocket attacks launched toward American bases in Iraq by Shiite militias supported by Iran has increased during the past two months, the number and size of rockets used in those attacks have decreased. Where such attacks previously included 20 or more rockets at any one time, they now consist of between three and five rockets, the officials said.