Trump calls off Iranian attacks, citing likely deaths

World News

June 21, 2019 - 4:18 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday the U.S. was “cocked and loaded” to retaliate against Iran for downing an unmanned American surveillance drone but he canceled the strikes minutes before they were to be launched after being told 150 people could die.

Trump’s tweeted statement raised important questions, including why he learned about possible deaths only at the last minute.

His stance was the latest example of the president showing some reluctance to escalate tensions with Iran into open military conflict. He did not rule out a future strike but said in a TV interview that the likelihood of casualties from the Thursday night plan to attack three sites in Iran did not seem like the correct response to shooting down an unmanned drone earlier in the day in the Strait of Hormuz.

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