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US prepped for strikes on Iran before approval was withdrawn


Head of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh looks at debris from what the division describes as the U.S. drone which was shot down on Thursday, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, June 21, 2019. Major airlines from around the world on Friday began rerouting their flights to avoid areas around the Strait of Hormuz following Iran's shooting down of a U.S. military surveillance drone there, as America warned commercial airliners could be mistakenly attacked. Hajizadeh said on Friday, Iran had warned a U.S. military surveillance drone several times before launching a missile at it. (Meghdad Madadi/Tasnim News Agency/via AP)



The United States abruptly called off preparations for a military strike against Iran over the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, a U.S. official said, while Iran claimed Friday it had issued several warnings before shooting down the drone over what it said was Iranian territory.


The Trump administration offered no immediate public account of the thinking behind the last-minute halt in U.S. preparations for retaliation, amid sharply escalating tensions between the two countries . A U.S. 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 swift reversal was a reminder of the serious risk of military conflict between U.S. and Iranian forces as the Trump administration combines a “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions with a buildup of American forces in the region. As tensions mounted in recent weeks, there have been growing fears that either side could make a dire miscalculation that led to war .


On Friday, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division told Iranian state television that Iran had given repeated warnings before launching a missile at the U.S. military surveillance drone.



AP News

21st June 2019


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