Trump confirms U.S. was ready to attack Iran Thursday

(NBC News) President Donald Trump confirmed on Twitter Friday that he was “cocked & loaded” to strike Iranian targets, but deemed the loss of life would be disproportionate to the downing of a U.S. drone.

“On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International waters. We were cocked and loaded to retaliate last night on three different sites,” Mr. Trump wrote in a series of tweets.

Those tweets appear to confirm a reports from The New York Times Thursday night that said the president approved military strikes on Iranian targets, but later backed away.

The Times quoted a senior administration official as saying the operation was under way in its early stages – with planes in the air and ships in position – when it was called off.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it shot down the drone in Iranian airspace, but the United States says it was over international waters.

The strike comes amid rising tensions in the region, with American officials blaming Iran for what they said was an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. Iran has denied any involvement.

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