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President Trump says he called off a strike on Iran at the last minute because too many people would die

The strike would have been in retaliation for Iran shooting down an American drone

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Thursday, President Donald Trump decided to launch a counterstrike against Iran in retaliation for Iran shooting down an American drone. But before the strike could be carried out, he rescinded the order.

What did Iran do?

On Thursday morning, Iran shot down an American RQ-4A Global Hawk drone. Iran claimed that the drone had violated its airspace. The U.S. has insisted that it was over international waters and called this an "unprovoked attack."

Trump tweeted Thursday morning that Iran had "made a very big mistake!" A few hours later he tweeted "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!"

When a reporter asked him on Thursday if he planned to strike Iran, he responded cryptically "You'll soon find out."

What happened with the strike?

According to a report from the New York Times, "military and diplomatic officials" thought that the U.S. was going to strike Iran up until around 7 p.m. ET on Thursday. These potential targets included missile batteries and radar installations. The Times cited an unnamed official who said that planes and ships had already been deployed for the attack, but missiles had not been fired, before it was called off.

On Friday morning, Trump tweeted that the military was "cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different" sites. However, according to Trump, when a general informed him that 150 people would be killed by the retaliatory strike he called it off, saying it was "not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone."

He added that he was "in no hurry" and that the military was "rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world."

He also warned that Iran could "NEVER have nuclear weapons" and blamed former-President Obama for giving Iran "a free path to Nuclear Weapons and SOON."

One last thing…
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