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 the condition of anonymity 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 on a course toward a military conflict as each side blamed the other for the incident.