Date
17 August 2019
A Sea Hawk helicopter lands on the flight deck of USS Boxer in the Arabian Sea in this picture taken on July 16. The US warship shot down an Iranian drone on Thursday, according to the Pentagon. Photo: Reuters
A Sea Hawk helicopter lands on the flight deck of USS Boxer in the Arabian Sea in this picture taken on July 16. The US warship shot down an Iranian drone on Thursday, according to the Pentagon. Photo: Reuters

US says warship destroyed Iran drone in ‘defensive action’

The United States said on Thursday that a US Navy ship had “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the aircraft threatened the vessel.

The Pentagon said in a statement that USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, took “defensive action” against a drone Thursday morning as the vessel was moving into the Strait of Hormuz, Reuters reports.

“We do assess it was an Iranian drone,” a spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

US President Donald Trump told an event at the White House that the drone had flown to within 1,000 yards of the USS Boxer and had ignored “multiple calls to stand down.”

“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters. The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests,” Trump said.

“The drone was immediately destroyed,” he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters at the United Nations that his country has “no information about losing a drone.”

The United States has blamed Iran for a series of attacks since mid-May on shipping around the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil artery. Tehran rejects the allegations.

Iran in June shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile. Iran says the drone was in its airspace, but Washington says it was in international skies.

Trump said at the time the US had come close to launching a military strike on Iran in retaliation for the downing of the American drone.

Washington believes that Iran-linked militia in Iraq have recently increased their surveillance of American troops and bases in the country by using off-the-shelf, commercially available drones.

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RC

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