President Donald Trump has said a United States naval ship destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Horumz after coming within its “threatening range”, a development that is likely to escalate the simmering tensions between the two countries. The incident took place at approximately 10 am local time when the amphibious ship, USS Boxer, was in the international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the strait, Pentagon chief spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said on Thursday.
Trump said the Boxer took defensive action against the Iranian drone, which had “closed into a very, very near distance”, approximately 1,000 yards. He said it ignored multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the crew.
“The drone was immediately destroyed. This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,” the president told reporters at the White House.
Hoffman said the fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) was shot down to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew after the drone “closed within a threatening range”.
Trump asserted that the US reserved the right to defend its personnel, facilities and interests, calling upon all nations to condemn what he said was Iran’s attempts to “disrupt” freedom of navigation and global commerce.
“I also call on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the strait and to work with us in the future,” he added.