Earlier this evening President Trump reportedly gave approval for the military to launch strikes on Iran in retaliation for Tehran shooting down a US drone.

Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but at the last minute before any missiles had been fired, Trump gave a stand down order, the New York Times quoted an unnamed official as saying.

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According to The Guardian, US military and diplomatic officials were expecting strikes on a handful of radar and missile sites after the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders gathered at the White House on Thursday night, the paper said.

It was not clear if strikes would go ahead at a later date.

Trump earlier appeared keen to calm tensions, saying the US Global Hawk drone might have been brought down by a “loose and stupid” Iranian officer without authorization from Tehran.

“We didn’t have a man or woman in the drone. It would have made a big, big difference,” Trump said. Asked how the US would respond, he said: “You’ll find out.”..

This is a BREAKING STORY… Check back for updates…

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