U.S. shoots down Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz, Trump says

Clay Curtis
July 18, 2019

The Pentagon said in a statement that the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, had taken "defensive action" against a drone, but did not mention if the aircraft was Iranian.

The Pentagon said the incident happened at 10 a.m. local time Thursday in worldwide waters while the Boxer was transiting the waterway to enter the Persian Gulf.

Trump says it's the latest "hostile" action by Iran.

Hoffman described the drone as a "fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS)". The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests.

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He said the drone threatened the safety of the American ship and its crew. In response, the US accelerated the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Arabian Sea and deployed four B-52 long-range bombers to the Gulf state of Qatar.

The action also comes after Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard forces seized a foreign oil tanker. Iran shot down a USA drone last month in the Persian Gulf region, and Mr. Trump was poised to strike back.

The US blames Iran for a series of attacks on shipping since mid-May in the world's most important oil artery, accusations Tehran rejects but that have raised fears the long-time foes could stumble into war.

Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. demanded Iran immediately release a vessel it seized in the Gulf, and a USA military commander in the region said Washington would work "aggressively" to ensure free passage of vessels through the vital waterway. One-fifth of global crude exports passes through the strait.

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