US ‘Destroys’ Iranian Drone, Tehran Denies

  • Our Bureau
  • 10:54 AM, July 19, 2019
  • 3063
US ‘Destroys’ Iranian Drone, Tehran Denies
USS Boxer

President of the United States (US) Donald Trump on Thursday announced that an amphibious ship belonging to the US Navy destroyed an Iranian drone as it was entering the Strait of Hormuz.

“I want to apprise everyone of an incident in the Strait of Hormuz today, involving USS Boxer, a US Navy amphibious assault ship. The BOXER took defensive action against an Iranian drone,” Trump said.

The drone, he added, was destroyed after it approached within 1,000 yards (914 meters) of the Boxer, as it was "threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew."

The drone was destroyed using electronic jamming, according to a US defense official.

Soon after Trump’s announcement, the Pentagon released a statement about the drone downing.

"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," Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman wrote.

Meanwhile, Tehran's top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters he had "no information about losing a drone today," as he arrived at the United Nations (UN) headquarters for a meeting with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi tweeted on Friday that he was "worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS by mistake!"

"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, according to Mehr News.

During last month, Tehran downed the US military’s MQ-4C Triton drone. While Iran claimed that the drone was flying over its airspace, US stated that the drone was shot down while it was flying in the international airspace.

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