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'Planes Were in the Air' When Iran Strike Called Off

Schumer warns US could be 'bumbling into war'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2019 6:55 AM CDT
Outgoing acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan carries a document labeled secret as he arrives for a meeting with President Trump about Iran at the White House, Thursday, June 20, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – A US strike on Iran in retaliation for the downing of a US drone was reportedly abruptly called off Thursday night—but it was a plan firmly in motion at the time, according to the New York Times. Senior administration officials tell the Times that "planes were in the air and ships were in position" when the strike was called off. The sources say the plan was to fire missiles at Iranian targets just before dawn local time to minimize the risk to civilians and military personnel. It's not clear whether the strike was called off for logistical reasons or because President Trump had a change of heart. In other developments:

  • FAA bans flights. The Federal Aviation Administration has banned US-registered aircraft from flying through Iranian airspace in the Persian Gulf, saying there is too much "potential for miscalculation or misidentification," CBS reports.

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