The White House is seen on January 7. Photo: AFP / Alex Wroblewski / Getty Images

Even before US President Donald Trump addressed world public opinion from the White House, following the Iranian missile strike in retaliation for the assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani, a top US intel source sent me this analysis in response to a detailed question:

“It is most unlikely Trump will escalate at this point, and this could provide him with the opportunity to leave the Middle East except for the Gulf States. Trump wants to get out. The fact that Israel would be hit next by Iran [as promised, among others, by the IRGC as well as Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah] will probably cause them to pull back, and not order Trump to bomb Iran itself.

“DEBKA-Mossad acknowledged that Iran’s offensive missiles cannot be defended against. Its secret is that it hugs the ground going underneath the radar screens,” the source added, referring to the Hoveizeh cruise missile, with a range of 1,350 km, already tested by Tehran.

“What is amazing is that Iraq has allowed US troops into their country at all after seeing over a million of their people murdered by the US if we include the 500,000 dead children” – during the 1990s, as acknowledged by Madeleine Albright. “The royals in the UAE. told me that this is because Iraq is more corrupt that Nigeria.”

“The key question here is what happened to the Patriot Missile defense for these bases that were on high alert – assuming this is not similar to Trump’s missiles hitting empty buildings in Syria after the chemical false flag operation,” the source concluded. “I saw no report that any defense missile was working, which to me is very significant.”

Judd Deere, the deputy press secretary of the White House, confirmed on Tuesday night that information that I posted on Facebook only on Wednesday morning, because I had been on Facebook jail for 24 hours due to my reporting on the Soleimani assassination.

The White House version is that President Trump, in a phone call, thanked Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for “Qatar’s partnership with the United States,” and they discussed Iraq and Iran.

According to my own source, who is very close to the Qatar royal family, Trump in fact sent a message to Tehran via the emir. The message has two layers. Trump promised sanctions would be canceled if there were no retaliation from Tehran (something that Trump simply wouldn’t have the means to assure, considering the opposition from Capitol Hill); and there would be de-escalation if Tehran came up with a “proportional” response.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif himself described the Iranian missile strikes as a “proportional response.”

And that explains why Trump did not go on TV on Tuesday night in the US to announce total war – as much as neocons were barking loudly for it.

We still don’t know in detail – because no one is talking – but there’s a lot of ultra-high-level back room diplomacy going on especially between Iran and Russia, with the Chinese on full alert but very discreet.

There’s ample consensus among the Axis to Resistance that China is way more important than the Chinese actually think. Especially in the Levant, where everyone looks at China as a future partner progressively replacing US hegemony.

As it stands, what Iran and Russia are discussing diplomatically carries the Chinese imprimatur – as there is a very strong Shanghai Cooperation Organization component in action. President Putin is quite active on the chessboard: he’s been to Syria and then Turkey. And according to Russian sources, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is sending some appropriate messages to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in no uncertain terms.

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