Reports: Trump Signed Off On Military Strikes Against Iran, But Called Off Attack

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Posted: Jun 21, 2019 6:05 AM
Reports: Trump Signed Off On Military Strikes Against Iran, But Called Off Attack

Source: AP Photo/John Raoux

Leah covered this Thursday morning. The nation braced for what this administration would do after Iran shot down a surveillance drone in international waters. This was a path to war between the two nations, tensions have now reached fever pitch:

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, escalating already heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The location of where the drone was shot down is being disputed, with U.S. officials telling the Associated Press the drone was in international airspace while Iran is saying the drone had entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran’s Hormozgan province.

When asked about the U.S.’s response, President Trump simply said, “you’ll find out.” It wouldn’t have been shocking if military targets were selected and ordered to be destroyed by the president. Trump ordered over 50 cruise missiles to be fired into Syria, attacking an airbase that reportedly was the staging ground for the tragic Khan Shaykhun chemical weapons attack in 2017. And with Iran, he reportedly signed off on military strikes. The birds were reportedly in the air, but then he aborted the mission (via NYT):

President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said

The abrupt reversal put a halt to what would have been the president’s third military action against targets in the Middle East. Mr. Trump had struck twice at targets in Syria, in 2017 and 2018.

It was not clear whether Mr. Trump simply changed his mind on the strikes or whether the administration altered course because of logistics or strategy. It was also not clear whether the attacks might still go forward.

Asked about the plans for a strike and the decision to hold back, the White House declined to comment, as did Pentagon officials. No government officials asked The New York Times to withhold the article.

I don’t want to speculate on the reasons. We’ll just have to wait and see. The president showed restraint here, but watch Democrats attack him because ‘orange man…bad’ is the mindset for the Left. Maybe the intelligence reports were updated. Whatever the case, something changed, though we’re back to the president’s initial response on Iran: “you’ll find out.”