Destroyed drone, says US, Iran rejects claim
The US said it has destroyed an Iranian drone that came close to one of its warships in the Strait of Hormuz and warned it would do the same for drones that fly too close to its vessels in the area.
But Iran denied it had lost any drones and suggested that the US might have shot down one of its own by mistake. Iran’s state television aired footage it said disproved the US assertion. The video published by the Revolutionary Guards showed aerial views of warships. The TV station said the drone had captured the footage and timing notations showed it was still filming after the US said it had been downed on Thursday.
Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, meanwhile, offered new but modest concession to end the stand-off, being seen as just one misstep away from a full-blown conflict neither side wants.
President Donald Trump said the drone “closed into a very, very near distance, approximately 1,000 yards” of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew. “The drone was immediately destroyed,” he said.
The drone was reportedly “jammed” by the US ship which was carrying Marine Corps personnel. “If they fly too close to our ships, they’ll continue to be shot down,” a Trump administration official said, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, adding, “we have very clear evidence” that the drone was downed.