The sailors and marines aboard US Navy amphibious assault ship USS Boxer have destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on July 18, US president Donald Trump said during a White House event.
While various media reports said the incident was confirmed by “senior defense officials”, Iranian officials said they had no information about losing a drone.
Trump said the USS Boxer took defensive action against the drone, which had come within 1,000 yards of the ship, ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew.
The president added that the drone was brought down by electronic jamming.
“The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities, and interests, and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce,” A White House statement quoted Trump as saying.
“I also call on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the Strait, and to work with us in the future.”
The USS Boxer is currently underway with other ships from its amphibious ready group, on a deployment to the Middle East.
The reported July 18 drone incident follows the downing of a US Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (or BAMS-D) ISR unmanned aircraft by an Iranian surface-to-air missile on July 19.
In addition unmanned aerial systems in the region following the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, a series of attacks on tankers have been recorded.