Trump says he aborted strike to spare Iranian lives

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 21, 2019 - Duration: 01:49s

Trump says he aborted strike to spare Iranian lives

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he aborted a military strike on Iran because he it could have killed 150 people, a disproportionate response to Tehran's downing of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.


Trump says he aborted strike to spare Iranian lives

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday confirmed that he had canceled an attack on Iran just 10 minutes before the strike after learning 150 people would be killed.

The President wrote on Twitter that the U.S. was "cocked and loaded to retaliate." But said he reversed course after learning how many people would die, saying it was disproportionate to Iran's downing of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone on Thursday.

On Friday, Iranian state television showed what it said were retrieved sections of the drone.

In the tweets, Trump also said he was in "no hurry" to confront Tehran, striking a similar tone to the day before.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "I think probably Iran made a mistake.

I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down.

(FLASH) It was over international waters, clearly over international waters, but we didn't have a man or woman in the drone, we had nobody in the drone.

It would have made a big difference.

Let me tell you, it would have made a big big difference." The drone's destruction comes after a spate of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf - that the U.S. blames on Iran - exacerbating tensions in the region.

Earlier Friday, Iranian officials told Reuters that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump overnight warning that a U.S. attack was imminent.

Using neighboring Oman as a back-channel, one official told Reuters that in his message, Trump said he was against war and wanted talks on a range of issues.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the last say on all state matters and has ruled out any talks with Washington while Tehran is under sanctions.

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