A U.S. Navy warship called the USS Boxer shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, President Trump said, adding, “The drone was immediately destroyed.”
“The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone,” Trump said, giving details about the encounter at the start of a flag presentation ceremony at the White House. He said the drone had closed to approximately 1,000 yards of the U.S. ship, “ignoring multiple calls to stand down.”
The drone was threatening the safety of the ship and its crew, Trump said.
In a statement about the incident, Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said a drone approached the USS Boxer at around 10 a.m. local time and that the ship was in international waters, sailing in “an inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz.”
Hoffman described the drone as a “fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS).”
“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,” Trump said. “The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities and interests.”
Trump also called on other countries to condemn “Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce.” He added that other nations should also protect their ships in the strait, which lies between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
The drone encounter came on the same day Iran announced that its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy has seized a foreign-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. That interdiction took place on Sunday; Iran alleges that the ship was smuggling 1 million liters (264,000 gallons) of fuel.