Trump says US Navy destroys Iranian drone in ‘defensive action,’ escalating tensions in Gulf region

  • President Donald Trump on Thursday said a U.S. Navy ship destroyed an Iranian drone in a defensive action.
  • Trump said the drone got too close to the USS Boxer in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday.
  • “The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone, after it ignored “multiple calls to stand down threatening safety of ship and ship’s crew,” Trump said.
File photo of t he U.S. Navy, the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).

MCSN Craig Z Rodarte | Getty Images News | Getty Images
File photo of t he U.S. Navy, the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).

President Donald Trump on Thursday said a U.S. Navy ship destroyed an Iranian drone in a defensive action, escalating already high tensions in the Gulf region.

Trump said the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, took the action against the drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, destroying the aircraft. 

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 U.S. military presence in the region.

The incident came four weeks after Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone flying over international airspace the same area, in what American officials at the time called an “unprovoked attack.” And it came hours after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized a foreign tanker that it accused of smuggling oil.

Trump told reporters Thursday that, “The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone, which had closed into a near distance, approximately 1000 yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down threatening safety of ship and ship’s crew.”

The president added that Iran’s drone “was immediately destroyed.”

Trump said the drone’s approach of the Boxer is “the latest of many provocative and hostile actions against vessels operating in international waters.”

He said the United States “reserves [the] right to defend our personnel, facilities, condemn iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce.”

Trump also called “on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the straight and work with us in the future.”

The Pentagon, in a statement issued after the president spoke, said, “At approximately 10 a.m. local time, the amphibious ship USS Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz.”

“A fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range. The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew,” the Pentagon said.

On the heels of Iran shooting down the U.S. drone on June 20, Trump signed an executive ordering imposing what he called “hard-hitting” new sanctions on Iran.

“We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities,” including its nuclear ambitions, Trump said on June 24. 

The new sanctions denied Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his office access to key financial resources. The sanctions also targeted Iranian military leaders who were responsible for shooting down the drone.

This is breaking news story. Check back for updates.



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