United States Cyber Command on Thursday reportedly launched an operation against an Iranian spy group with ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, despite President Donald Trump’s last-minute scrapping of a direct military strike, former intelligence officials said in a Yahoo News report. cyber strikes
The Iranian group is believed to have supported the limpet mine attacks against two tanker ships earlier last week, which resulted in the US increasing its military posture against the country. The group reportedly tracked and targeted both military and civilian vessels sailing through the Strait of Hormuz.
President Donald Trump backed out of retaliatory attacks against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on Thursday evening, following the downing of a US drone on Wednesday. Officials were said to have planned to strike before dawn on Friday and chose to target radar and missile batteries, according to a New York Times report.
Trump claimed he was “cocked and loaded” to strike at Iranian targets but decided to forgo the plans after being briefed that there could be an estimated 150 casualties from the attack.
“[Ten] minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” Trump said in a tweet. “I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!”
Trump has given significant autonomy to CYBERCOM, the US military’s command for cyber-related operations, and authorized it to conduct offensive attacks against foreign adversaries during his presidency. The new strategy allows CYBERCOM to conduct some of its operations without consulting White House officials or other government agencies.