United States President Donald Trump on Friday said the American military was planning to retaliate against Iran for shooting down an unmanned United States drone this week, but he changed his mind 10 minutes before the planned airstrikes. Trump said that he stopped the strikes after he was informed that 150 people will die in the attack.
Strikes were planned on three sites in response to the shooting down of the unmanned drone. The United States president said that the drone was shot down on Monday as opposed to the earlier statement from the military which stated that incident happened on Wednesday, BBC reported.
“Iran can NEVER have nuclear weapons,” Trump said in his tweets on the cancelled strikes and also added that increased economic sanctions against Iran were “added last night”. He further accused former President Barack Obama of making “a desperate and terrible deal with Iran”.
The United States had confirmed on Thursday that Iran had shot down an American spy drone in its southern coastal province of Hormozgan. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps on Thursday had said they had shot down the drone after it violated Iranian airspace. The Revolutionary Guard Corps said the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region in the central district of Jask County.
The incident comes at a time when the United States has accused Iran of attacking two of its oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13. Hormozgan borders the Strait of Hormuz, where the tankers were located. The US military has also accused Iran of firing a missile at a drone that had responded to the explosions. In May, Washington had alleged Tehran had orchestrated a similar attack in which four tankers in the same area were damaged.