Trump Plans Military Retaliation Against Iran Cancels Strike

Rabat – After Iran shot down a US drone, Trump approved a response strike against the nation Thursday night, but soon canceled the planned military action.Top US politicians spent Thursday debating how to respond to Iran downing an unmanned US drone the morning of Thursday, June 20, amid growing concern that the shooting down of the drone and its fallout could lead to a larger conflict in the region.Trump told reporters Thursday that “Iran made a big mistake” and his “country will not stand for it.” He ultimately approved a military response strike that was to take place early Friday, June 21, morning to limit the threat to civilians, according to the NYT, which cited senior White House officials.US planes and ships were already in position when he later called off the strike.  The motivation behind the president’s last minute change of plans is unclear. It is also unclear if the strike will be carried out at a later date.The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) took responsibility for shooting down a US drone on the Iranian coast along the Gulf of Oman. Tehran claims the drone crossed into Iranian airspace; Washington claims it was an unwarranted attack as the drone was in international airspace.Read also: Saudi Arabia Calls for Urgent GCC, Arab League Meetings after Drone AttacksBoth sides say they have strong evidence supporting their argument.Thursday’s events were the most recent developments in escalating tension between the two nations.For the past month, Trump has blamed Iran for the explosions of six oil tankers in the region. This occurred alongside Iran’s announcement to break from the 2015 nuclear agreement, which the US pulled out of over a year ago.Following the drone incident, the US Federal Aviation Administration have barred US airlines from flying over parts of the Gulf region because of heightened political and military tensions. read more

Security Council extends life of UN mission in troubled Central African Republic

In a presidential statement read out by Ambassador Jorge Voto-Bernales of Peru, Council members also voiced fears that conditions could worsen further because of instability along its volatile borders with Sudan and Chad.The statement noted the attacks by rebels since late last month on the north-eastern towns of Birao, Ouanda-Djalle and Sam Ouandja, and said the Council was concerned about the capacity of the armed forces of the CAR to deal with the insecurity, especially in the north and north-east.The UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations has dispatched a fact-finding mission to the CAR to assess the security situation along the borders.The mandate of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in the CAR, established in 2000 and known by the French acronym BONUCA, will now run until 31 December next year.The Council statement said it welcomed the efforts of the CAR Government to revive dialogue with political and civil society groups, and it urged BONUCA to support the regular staging of such meetings, “which are vital to restoring trust among Central Africans and promoting lasting reconciliation.”Council members also praised the “courageous” of the Government to try to improve the management of the national treasury and ensure transparency in economic activity and governance.In a report to the Council last month, Secretary-General Kofi Annan also painted a grim picture of the security and human rights situation inside the CAR, which has experienced a resurgence of acts of violence by regular soldiers, unidentified armed gangs and road-blockers. read more