US President Donald Trump Friday said he had aborted a military strike on Iran to avoid a ‘disproportionate loss of life’ in response to Tehran’s downing of an unmanned US surveillance drone.
In a series of early morning tweets, Trump said that following the destruction of the unmanned drone by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, more economic sanctions were imposed on Tehran and it was clearly having an impact. The US President also said the plan was to hit three different sites in response to the drone’s downing, and that he was told by one of his Generals that 150 people would have died.
“Ten minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world,” Trump tweeted.
It may be recalled that Trump had struck a combative tone in his initial public comments about Iran shooting down the Global Hawk surveillance aircraft. “Iran made a very big mistake!” he tweeted, later adding at the White House: “This country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.”
But when the incident whipped up fears of an open conflict between the two countries, Trump took a step back to deescalate tensions. “I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said.
Earlier on Friday, Iranian officials told Reuters that Tehran had received a message from Trump warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent but saying that he was against war and wanted talks on a range of issues.
The escalating tensions come after Tehran on Thursday said it had shot down an unmanned U.S. military surveillance drone with a surface-to-air missile following a spate of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf region.