News analysis

Ball in Trump's court - but he has space to breathe

Iran's strikes not aimed at causing casualties, leaving US President with broader options

Iran and the United States lurched closer towards an undeclared war yesterday when Teheran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched missiles at US-Iraqi bases in Iraq - but there remains room for de-escalation.

The attack, in retaliation for the killing of IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani by the US last week, was calculated to make a statement but not cause casualties, analysts said, leaving US President Donald Trump with broader options than to simply strike back.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2020, with the headline 'Ball in Trump's court - but he has space to breathe'. Subscribe