Published: Thu, July 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

U.S. ship shoots down Iranian drone, says President Donald Trump

U.S. ship shoots down Iranian drone, says President Donald Trump

He said the drone had closed to approximately 1,000 yards of the USA ship, "ignoring multiple calls to stand down".

"Before I begin I want to apprise everyone of an incident in the strait of Hormuz today involving U.S.S. Boxer, a Navy amphibious assault ship", Mr. Trump announced on Thursday.

"The U.S. reserves the right to defend personnel, facilities, interests", he said.

"A fixed-wing unmanned aerial system approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range", chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a written statement. "This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in worldwide waters".

Speaking at the White House Trump said the drone was "threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew" in the Strait of Hormuz and was "immediately destroyed".

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The seizure is the latest in a series of attacks involving ships and tankers, mostly in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf, that have sent tensions soaring between the United States and Iran.

Iran's state television said earlier Thursday that regime forces captured a foreign tanker with a crew of 12 accused of smuggling oil.

The announcement cleared up the fate of the missing ship but raised a host of other questions and heightened worries about the free flow of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most critical petroleum shipping routes.

The Panama-flagged, Japanese owned oil tanker Kokuka Courageous, that the U.S. Navy says was damaged by a limpet mine, is anchored off Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, during a trip organized by the Navy for journalists, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Trump called off a planned retaliatory airstrike at the last minute.

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