WASHINGTON, July 19. /TASS/. The USS Boxer Wasp-class amphibious assault ship of the United States Navy downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday in what US President Donald Trump described as a "defensive action."
Shortly after, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters he had no information about the incident so far.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said the US warship "took defensive action against an Iranian drone, which had closed into a very, very near distance, approximately 1,000 yards [914.4 meters]."
According to the US leader’s version of the incident, the Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle "ignored multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew."
"The drone was immediately destroyed," Trump continued.
"This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters. The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities and interests," the US president added.
He also called upon other nations to condemn Iran’s actions and to defend their ships in the region jointly with the United States.
Commenting on Trump’s words, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said: "We have no information about having lost a drone today."
According to a statement attributed to chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman, the incident occurred at 10:00 local time (08:30 Moscow time) on Thursday, when the Boxer was passing through international waters.
"A fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range," the statement reads. "The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew."
Tensions around Iran intensified after blasts and fires were reported on two oil tankers following a purported attack in the Gulf of Oman. The United States, backed by the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, blamed the incident on Iran. Tehran dismissed those accusations.
On June 20, the Iranian armed forces shot down a US-made RQ-4 Global Hawk spy drone. In the wake of this incident, the United States, according to President Donald Trump, had hammered out a military operation, including pinpoint strikes against three facilities on Iranian soil. Trump said he had called off the operation ten minutes before it was scheduled to begin, describing this as a disproportionate response to Tehran’s actions.