An American Navy vessel in the Strait of Hormuz shot down an Iranian drone on Thursday, President Donald Trump said Thursday during a ceremony at the White House. The unmanned aerial vehicle threatened the amphibious assault ship, the USS Boxer, while it was in international waters, the president said.
“The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone which had closed into a very near distance … approximately 1,000 yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down, and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew,” Trump said. “The drone was immediately destroyed.”
U.S. intelligence officials have expressed concern this week that a UAE tanker was forced into Iranian territorial waters over the weekend by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The officials said they believe the M/I RIAH, sailing under the flag of Panama, was seized by the IRGC on Saturday night when it was crossing the Strait of Hormuz in international waters.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday the UAE tanker was withdrawn to Iranian waters to “receive assistance from Iranian forces after suffering from a technical issue,” the Iranian ISNA news agency reported. The necessary repairs will be made to the vessel and “further details will be announced later,” the foreign ministry spokesperson said, according to ISNA.
Tracking data showed the UAE tanker drifted into Iranian waters after 11 pm Saturday night, but no distress signal was received, and transmissions went dead more than three days ago, according to The Associated Press. U.S. intelligence officials said it’s believed the vessel was withdrawn to Iran’s Qeshm Island after it was forced into Iranian waters by the IRGC.