October 22, 2019

US Shoots Down Iranian Drone

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters while hosting Team USA for the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 18, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A United States Navy ship shot down an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz on July 18, President Donald Trump announced.

Trump told reporters that the drone was as close as around 1,000 yards away from the U.S.S. Boxer, an amphibious assault ship. The drone kept coming closer to the ship despite Boxer personnel warning the drone to stand down, prompting the ship to down the drone.

“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions against vessels operating in international waters,” Trump said. “The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities, and interests.”

The Pentagon confirmed Trump’s remarks in a statement.

“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,” the statement read. “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.”

The downing of the Iranian drone is the latest in a series of escalatory incidents between the U.S. and Iran. In June, Iran attacked a couple of oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and shot down an unmanned U.S. drone. Trump imposed further sanctions on Iran in response.

According to The U.K. Guardian, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he is offering the Trump administration a deal in which Iran would allow its nuclear program to be subjected to “enhanced inspections” if the U.S. eases sanctions. The Guardian notes that the Trump administration is likely to reject such a proposal, as they want a deal in which Iran ceases “uranium enrichment and support for proxies and allies in the [Middle East] region.”