Trump says US Navy shot down Iranian drone in ‘defensive action,’ escalating tensions in Gulf region
“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, Trend reports citing CNBC.
President Donald Trump on Thursday said a U.S. Navy ship shot down an Iranian drone in a defensive action.
Trump said the USS Boxer fired on the drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday. 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.”
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.”
A Pentagon spokesman had no immediate comment when contacted by CNBC.
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.