“For over an hour, military officials in Washington and Baghdad were unable to offer a definitive answer about the letter’s veracity or whether it indicated that US troops were, in fact, about to be moved out of Iraq, and the lack of clarity fueled significant confusion about its meaning. In the end, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, was able to provide some clarity, telling reporters that the letter itself was a draft and its release was an ‘honest mistake.'” The Pentagon insists that the US is not withdrawing from Iraq (despite a delivered letter that indicated we were). According to Iran state media, a stampede at Soleimani’s funeral resulted in dozens of deaths. And Defense Secretary Mark Esper defended the airstrike. “This is no innocent man. This is a terrorist leader of a terrorist organization and his time was due.” (There’s little debate suggesting Soleimani was a good guy. The issue is the timing of, and strategy behind, the assassination. If Soleimani presented an imminent threat, why was Trump given several retaliatory options that didn’t include Soleimani? If there was an imminent threat, how would killing the top general end that threat? And is there any chance we’ll get a straight answer on anything from this president?) Here’s the latest from CNN.

+ NYT: “Mr. Esper acknowledged that striking cultural sites with no military value would be a war crime, putting him at odds with the president, who insisted such places would be legitimate targets.”