NYT: 'Trump Approves Strikes On Iran, But Then Abruptly Pulls Back'

Chris Menahan
InformationLiberation
Jun. 20, 2019

President Trump allegedly approved strikes against Iran before coming to his senses and backing down, if this report in the New York Times is to be believed.

From The New York Times:
President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president's top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.

The abrupt reversal put a halt to what would have been the president's third military action against targets in the Middle East. Mr. Trump had struck twice at targets in Syria, in 2017 and 2018.

It was not clear whether Mr. Trump simply changed his mind on the strikes or whether the administration altered course because of logistics or strategy. It was also not clear whether the attacks might still go forward.

Asked about the plans for a strike and the decision to hold back, the White House declined to comment, as did Pentagon officials. No government officials asked The New York Times to withhold the article.
The AP is reporting the military "prepped" for the attack "but approval as abruptly withdrawn."

From the AP:
A U.S. official said the military made preparations Thursday night for limited strikes on Iran in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but approval was abruptly withdrawn before the attacks were launched.

The official, who was not authorized to discuss the operation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the targets would have included radars and missile batteries.

The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump had approved the strikes, but then called them off. The newspaper cited anonymous senior administration officials.

The White House on Thursday night declined requests for information about whether Trump changed his mind.

According to the official who spoke to the AP, the strikes were recommended by the Pentagon and were among the options presented to senior administration officials. It was unclear how far the preparations had gone, but no shots were fired or missiles launched.

The military operation was called off around 7:30 p.m. Washington time, after Trump had spent most of Thursday discussing Iran strategy with top national security advisers and congressional leaders.
While this is undoubtedly great news if the attack doesn't go forward, as Tucker Carlson noted Thursday night, the US has been "putting troops into situations where conflict is inevitable, in order to start a war."

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