The NY Times quotes multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations, citing that the US “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.”
"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.
Asked about the plans for a strike and the decision to hold back, the White House declined to comment, as did Pentagon officials."
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