WASHINGTON DC – US President Donald Trump stated on Thursday July 18th that a USN ship shot down an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz. This comes as the latest in a series of tense incidents between the U.S. and Iran.
Trump told reporters at the White House that the USS Boxer – a USN amphibious assault ship – “took defensive action” against an Iranian drone that had “closed into a very, very near distance, approximately 1,000 yards” and ignored “multiple calls to stand down.”
The drone was allegedly “threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew” and “was immediately destroyed,” Trump stated.
Iran denies that such an event took place, stating that all of its drones are safely in operation or at their respective bases.
A senior spokesman for the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces dismissed the US’ claim that it had destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, saying all the country’s drones had returned safely to base after conducting their identification missions.
“Contrary to Trump’s delusional and groundless claim, all drones belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, including the one mentioned by the US president, have returned to their bases safe and sound after carrying out their scheduled surveillance and control operations,” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said on Friday.
The top military spokesman said the US president’s claim is aimed at creating tension and disrupting security in the strategic waterway.
“The Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran always feel duty-bound to protect, control, and safeguard the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz with full vigilance while observing international regulations,” he added.
Brigadier General Shekarchi’s comments came as Trump claimed on Thursday that a US ship had shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz.
Trump said that the USS Boxer fired on the drone Thursday, four weeks after Iran shot down a US surveillance drone flying over Iranian waters near the Strait of Hormuz.
“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,” Trump said.
He added that Iran’s drone “was immediately destroyed,” and the Pentagon claimed the Iranian drone was within a “threatening range” of the US ship.
The claim came almost a month after the IRGC shot down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan.
Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his deputy Seyyed Abbas Araghchi had also dismissed “losing any drones in the Persian Gulf or anywhere else”.