US warship downs Iranian drone in Hormuz Strait

US warship downs Iranian drone in Hormuz Strait

A helicopter delivers supplies to the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, in the Andaman Sea, on June 8, 2019. The US announced the ship downed an Iranian drone near the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday. (Photo: US  Marine Corps via NYT)
A helicopter delivers supplies to the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, in the Andaman Sea, on June 8, 2019. The US announced the ship downed an Iranian drone near the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday. (Photo: US Marine Corps via NYT)

WASHINGTON: A US warship destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday after it threatened the ship, President Donald Trump said.

The incident marked a new escalation of tensions between the countries less than one month after Iran downed an American drone in the same waterway and Trump came close to retaliating with a military strike.

In remarks at the White House, Trump accused Iran of a "provocative and hostile'' action and said the US responded in self defence. Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters as he arrived for a meeting at the United Nations that "we have no information about losing a drone today''.

Trump said the  USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, took defensive action after the Iranian aircraft closed to within 1,000 metress of the ship and ignored multiple calls to stand down.

The Pentagon said the incident happened at 10 am local time on Thursday in international waters while the Boxer was transiting the waterway to enter the Persian Gulf. The Boxer is one of  several US naval ships in the area, including the USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier that has been operating in the nearby North Arabian Sea for weeks.

Neither Trump nor the Pentagon spelled out how the Boxer destroyed the drone. CNN reported that the ship used electronic jamming to bring it down rather than hitting it with a missile. 


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