Stopped retaliatory attack on Iran 10 minutes before the strike: Trump

Washington: After Iran shot down a US military drone, US President Donald Trump claimed that he stopped retaliatory action by his forces against Iran just “10 minutes before the strike”.

“On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked and loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” the President tweeted on Friday.

“I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!” he added.

According to US media reports, the US 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.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down an “intruding American spy drone”, RQ-4 Global Hawk, on Thursday after it reportedly violated Iranian airspace over the southern coastal province of Hormozgan. Refuting the claim, Washington labelled the incident as an “unprovoked attack,” adding that the drone was flying over international waters when it was shot down.

To back its claim, the US released an image of the flight path, showing that the drone was flying over international waters. In response to this, Iran released a video which showed that the drone had entered Iranian airspace. The proof provided by the two countries is similar until the final moments before the unmanned aerial vehicle was attacked.