Donald Trump says US has destroyed Iranian drone
Development comes as tensions grow between the two countries
The US says that one of its warships brought down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz.
As tensions grow between the two countries, Donald Trump announced that the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, “destroyed” the drone which came within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored several calls to stand down.
The incident comes “almost exactly one month after Iran shot down an American drone,” CNN notes.
Revealing the incident, Donald Trump said: “This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters.”
He said Washington “reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests”, and “calls upon all nations to condemn Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce”.
He also called “on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the Strait and to work with us in the future”.
The New York Times says the development “refuels tensions as both countries dig in”.
A State Department spokesman has told Reuters: “The United States strongly condemns the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with safe passage in and around the Strait of Hormuz.”
But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said: “We have no information about losing a drone.”
After Iran recently shot down a US drone that it said was flying over Iranian waters, Zarif said the two countries had been “a few minutes away” from conflict after Trump called off a planned retaliatory missile strike at the last minute. The Iranian said: “No war with Iran would be a short war.”
CNBC explains that the Boxer is “part of a group of Navy ships that was in the strait, located between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, as part of an increased US military presence in the region”.