Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

United States shot down Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz - President Trump

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Deanna Wagner | 19 July, 2019, 13:24

The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities, and interests, and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempt to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce.

Iran said it had no information about losing a drone.

Trump addresses Iranian drone shot down by USS Boxer.

Tensions in the Gulf region are high, with fears that the USA and Iran could stumble into war. In June, Iran downed a U.S. military drone in the area.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards has seized a foreign ship smuggling fuel in the Gulf, state television quoted Iran's elite force as saying in a statement on Thursday.

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. At the time, President Trump showed restraint.

The president added that Iran's drone "was immediately destroyed".

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Earlier this month, five Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps gunboats tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz but backed off after a British warship approached, a senior USA defense official told Fox News.

Speaking at the White House, he said: "I want to apprise everyone of an incident in the Strait of Hormuz today involving USS Boxer, a navy amphibious assault ship".

Thursday's report says the tanker was smuggling fuel from Iranian smugglers to foreign customers and was intercepted south of Iran's Larak Island in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

A USA official told ABC News that it was the Marines of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit that destroyed the Iranian drone using counter-drone jamming equipment.

Iran's state TV has released a video of the ship seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guard, showing the ship's registration number as matching that of the MT Riah, a UAE-based vessel that turned off its location tracker as it entered Iranian territorial waters early on Sunday.

Iran has threatened to retaliate for the British seizure of an Iranian oil tanker accused of violating sanctions on Syria. Iran denied being involved.