The Iraqi government “understood that there would be a response after the deaths of our soldiers,” Patel said.
That contradicted National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby’s
comments to reporters during a call on Friday, in which he said, “We did inform the Iraqi government prior to the strikes occurring.”
Asked about the discrepancy on Monday, Kirby didn’t admit error but suggested that his comment may have been inaccurate.
“I responded with information that I had been provided at the time. It was not as specific as it could have been, and I regret any confusion caused,” Kirby said. “That said, we had made no secret — both to Iraqi officials and in public channels — that we would respond. And, we did, in fact, officially notify Iraq, as appropriate with standard procedure.”