Confirming earlier media reports, President Donald Trump revealed that he called off an attack on Iran just “10 minutes before the strike” in a post on Twitter on Friday.
Trump said he decided to call off the military strikes amid concerns the number of expected casualties was not a “proportionate” response to Iran shooting down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone.
“On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters,” Trump tweeted. “We were cocked & 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,” he added. “I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world.”
Trump repeated his claim the Iran is a “weakened nation” after his decision to pull out of the international nuclear agreement with the Islamic republic.
“Sanctions are biting & more added last night,” Trump tweeted. “Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!”
The U.S. was on the verge of attacking in retaliation for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shooting down a U.S. drone on Thursday.
The Trump administration has claimed the drone was over international waters when it was shot down, although Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has argued the drone was flying over Iranian territory.
In remarks during a White House meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday, Trump suggested the downing of the drone may have been unintentional.
“I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” Trump told reporters. “I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”
“But we’ll be able to report back, and you’ll understand exactly what happened,” he added. “But it was a very foolish move, that I can tell you.”
The president said he believes a “general or somebody” made a mistake in shooting down the drone, which he stressed was unmanned.
“I have a feeling that it was a mistake made by somebody that shouldn’t have been doing what they did. I think they made a mistake,” Trump said.
He added, “And I’m not just talking the country made a mistake. I think that somebody under the command of that country made a big mistake.”
Despite believe the downing of the drone was a “mistake,” Trump refused to indicate whether the U.S. would retaliate, repeatedly saying, “You’ll find out.”
Trump denied that members of his administration are trying to push him into conflict with Iran, noting that he campaigned on getting the U.S. out of endless wars.