The president of the United States of America Donald Trump has called off a military attack on Iran which he had announced on Thursday night. President Trump ordered an attack on Iran on Thursday in retaliation for the downing of a surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz, but called the operation off just hours before it was due to occur, officials said.
Administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to discuss sensitive national security decisions, said the president approved the counterstrikes after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) earlier in the day shot down a Navy RQ-4 operating off Iran’s southern coast, a move Trump described as a “very big mistake.” “But he later changed his mind,” the officials said. It was not immediately clear why Trump decided to pull back the operation or what it would have included. The decision was first reported by the New York Times.
The aborted operation capped a day in which news of the drone’s targeting heaped fuel on already heightened fears that the United States and Iran are headed for a military conflict as each side blamed the other for the incident. Tehran and Washington gave conflicting accounts of what occurred when the massive drone crashed into the sea. While Iran said it had entered its airspace, U.S. Central Command denied that assertion, characterizing the incident as an “unprovoked attack” over one of the world’s most important commercial waterways. In remarks alongside visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House, Trump condemned the shoot-down but also appeared to tamp down speculation that a counterstrike might be in the works, saying the drone may have been shot down without the knowledge of Iranian leaders. “I’m not just talking about the country made a mistake. I’m talking about somebody under the command of that country made a mistake,” Trump said at the White House. “I find it hard to believe it was intentional” on the part of Iran’s top officials, the president said. This however came at a time when Saudi Arabia was set to buy a consignment of arms worth billions of dollars from USA, a deal which Trump also canceled.