Iran War Drums: President Trump Reportedly Cancels Retaliatory Attack; FAA Issues No Fly Order

President Trump reportedly authorized, and then cancelled, a retaliatory attack on Iran Thursday night for the downing of an unarmed U.S. drone the night before, reported the New York Times in a report later confirmed by CBS News. Planes were in the air and ships in position, however no missiles had been launched.

Screen image from IRGC propaganda video of attack on US drone.

The FAA issued an order barring U.S. civilian aircraft from much of Iranian airspace, leading to speculation the attack was put off to allow the airspace to be cleared.

Excerpt of the New York Times report:

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.

…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.

…The strike was set to take place just before dawn Friday in Iran to minimize risk to the Iranian military and civilians.

An alternative theory for the cancellation was posited by Jeffrey Lewis, who recalled President Nixon facing a similar situation in his first term.

In the mean time, the U.S. airline United is cancelling flights:

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Thanks for sharing!