The Pentagon said on Thursday that a U.S. Navy ship in the Strait of Hormuz “destroyed” an Iranian drone that came within a “threatening range” of the vessel. The Iranians dispute the claim and say that they will produce images that prove that no Iranian drone was lost.
President Donald Trump, at an event at the White House on Thursday, said the drone had flown to within 1,000 yards of the U.S.S. Boxer and had ignored multiple calls to stand down. This is sure to increase tensions in the region.
Pentagon spokesman Johnathan Hoffman said in a statement, “A fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached the U.S.S. Boxer and closed to within a threatening range,” The Pentagon spokesman did not identify the origin of the drone, though it makes sense in that region that it would be Iranian.
He added, “the ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew.”
A U.S. Military spokesman said that members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the U.S.S. Boxer used counter-drone jamming equipment to down the drone.
The United States considers the Straits of Hormuz to be vital area of Interest because of its importance for the global oil supply. The United States has vowed that it will not let Iran disrupt open passage through the strait.
This is coming within a month after the Iranians shot down an American drone. Therefore, the tensions in the region are already at a high level.
This latest development is sure to make an already tense situation all the tenser.
Iran is denying the reports that the U.S. Navy downed one of its drones and is stating that it has images to prove it. They have more reasons to deny that it lost a drone than that the Navy would have that it destroyed one.
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Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior Iran armed forces spokesman states, “All drones belonging to Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz … returned safely to their bases after their mission of identification and control.”
The safety of our servicemen and women in tense regions of the globe is of vital concern and kudos to the United States Navy and Marine Corps for taking swift action.