WASHINGTON DC - United States President Donald Trump has abruptly pulled back the decision to carry out military strikes against Iran after previously approving them, in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. military drone in the Gulf of Oman.
According to a report by The New York Times, the U.S. President had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries. The decision was taken after an intense discussion at the White House among the President's top national security officials and congressional leaders.
While the operation was in its initial stage -- with the ships already in position and planes in the air -- it was abruptly called off on Thursday night. It is unclear whether Trump changed his mind on the strikes or whether the administration altered course because of logistics or strategy.
The retaliation plan was intended as a response to the shooting down of an "intruding American spy drone", RQ-4 Global Hawk by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Thursday after it reportedly violated Iranian airspace over the southern coastal province of Hormozgan.
Washington has labelled the move an "unprovoked attack", claiming that the drone was flying over international waters when attacked, although Prtesident Trump later indicated he though it may have been shot down by "mistake."
To back its claim, the country released an image of the flight path, showing that the drone was flying over international waters, in response to which Tehran released a video showing that the drone had entered Iranian airspace. Both countries provided similar proof showing the location just before the unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down. (ANI)
(Photo credit: Center for the National Interest).