The White House national security team tasked the Pentagon with providing options to strike Iran last fall after a group of militants linked to the Islamic republic fired on an area in Baghdad that houses the U.S. embassy in Iraq, Reuters reported Monday, citing an unnamed administration source.

The source noted that the Pentagon formulated options to the White House in response to the request, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal and which came from the White House National Security Council headed by John Bolton.

In citing current and former U.S. officials, the paper noted the request alarmed officials in the Pentagon and the State Department.

“It definitely rattled people,” a former senior administration told the paper. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”


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