By Mac Molli - @Mactionpacked
The U.S Navy’s assault ship USS Boxer, destroyed an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, July 18th after is allegedly threatened the ship by flying approximately 1,000 yards. U.S President Donald Trump made an announcement at the White House claiming, “The boxer took defensive action against an Iranian Drone, which had closed into a very, very near distance… ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew. The drone was immediately destroyed.”
This comes just a few hours after Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, offered a deal with the U.S during his diplomatic visit to the UN in New York City to enhance inspections of its nuclear program in return for the permanent lifting of U.S economic sanctions against Iran.
However, the claims being made by President Trump are being questioned, some believe the President is giving misinformation about what actually took place. Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior armed forces spokesman was quoted by the Tehran Times, claiming “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. And there is no report of any operational response by USS Boxer”
After the incident in the Strait, Zarif told reporters at the UN, “The drone issue is being investigated, but based on the latest news I have from Tehran, we have no information about losing a drone.” Iranian news agencies reported that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards would release images to disprove President Trump’s assertion that the U.S Navy destroyed the Iranian drone in the Gulf.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Twitter: "We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) by mistake!"
In a statement, the Revolutionary Guards said, “Soon, images captured by the Guards drones from the U.S. warship Boxer will be published to expose to world public opinion as lies and groundless the claim ... of shooting down an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz.”
A U.S official said the drone was brought down by the Marine Corps' Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System, known as LMADIS. In his announcement, President Trump spoke about the rising tensions between the U.S and Iran in recent months and requests other nations to be on alert and stay defensive. “This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,” he said. “The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities, our interests and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce. I also call on other nations to protect their ships as they go to the Strait, and to work with us in the future.”
Tensions are high and many fear events like this are the start of a major conflict between the two nations, CNN reported that Washington decided to send 500 troops over to allied Saudi Arabia due to these tensions. President Trump said it is committed to trying to help protect Saudi Arabia against Iranian aggression.