STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

US Navy ship 'destroyed' an Iranian drone, Trump says

President Donald Trump says a US ship "destroyed" an Iranian drone after it came within 1,000 yards of the USS Boxer and ignored "multiple calls to stand down."

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 3:03 PM
Updated: Jul 18, 2019 10:45 PM


President Donald Trump said Thursday that the USS Boxer downed an Iranian drone that came within 1,000 yards of the Navy ship and ignored 'multiple calls to stand down' -- marking yet another escalation in the already tense situation playing out between Washington and Tehran.

Speaking at the White House, Trump said the drone was 'threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew' in the Strait of Hormuz and was 'immediately destroyed.'

The drone was destroyed using electronic jamming, according to a US defense official.

The crew of the Boxer took defensive action after the drone came within a threatening distance of the US ship, the official said.

'This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,' Trump added. 'The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities and interest and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce.'

He called on other countries to condemn Iran's action and protect their own vessels.

Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters at the United Nations in New York Thursday that 'we have no information about losing a drone.'

Relations between Iran and the United States have deteriorated since May 2018, when Washington chose to leave the 2015 nuclear deal the Iranian regime negotiated with world powers and reimpose crippling sanctions on Iran's economy.

The Pentagon released a statement about the drone downing shortly after Trump's comments.

'At approximately 10 a.m. local time, the amphibious ship USS Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz. A fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range. The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew,' Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman wrote.

'We assess the UAS to be Iranian,' Pentagon spokeswoman Cdr. Rebecca Rebarich told CNN.

Tensions in the Strait of Hormuz

A US military official told CNN that members of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Boxer were operating counter-drone jamming equipment and downed the suspected Iranian aircraft.

US Marines from that unit are trained to use maneuverable, ground-based jamming systems 'that can detect, identify and defeat drones with electronic attack,' according to the Department of Defense. Those systems can be used while on land or aboard a ship like the USS Boxer.

The incident comes almost exactly one month after Iran shot down an American drone, further heightening the already volatile conditions in the Middle East.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard said at the time that it had shot down an 'intruding American spy drone' after it entered into the country's territory. A US official confirmed to CNN a drone had been shot down, but said the incident occurred in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most vital shipping routes.

There is no place in the world more important for the global supply of oil than the Strait of Hormuz and the US has vowed to never allow Iran to prevent open passage through the waterway.

The channel, which is only 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, is the only route to move oil from the Persian Gulf to the world's oceans.

Mixed messages

After last month's downing of a American drone, Trump said that he called off a retaliatory strike on Iran just as the US was 'cocked & loaded' to strike because he decided there would be too many deaths for a proportionate response.

Since that time, Trump has attempted to paint a more optimistic view of the prospects for diplomacy with Iran.

On Tuesday, the US President said 'a lot of progress' has been made with Tehran.

'They'd like to talk. And we'll see what happens but a lot of progress has been made,' he said.

'We want to help them. We'll be good to them,' Trump added. 'We'll help them in any way we can. But they can't have a nuclear weapon.'

And earlier Thursday, Trump said that 'Iran is a much different country right now than when I took over,' adding that, at the time he took office, the country was the 'scourge of the world.'

But CNN reported Wednesday that the Trump administration is also reinforcing its controversial military relationship with Saudi Arabia by preparing to send hundreds of troops to the country amid increasing tensions with Iran.

Five-hundred troops are expected to go to the Prince Sultan Air Base, located in a desert area east of the Saudi capital of Riyadh, according to US two defense officials. A small number of troops and support personnel are already on site with initial preparations being made for a Patriot missile defense battery as well as runway and airfield improvements, the officials said.

The US has wanted to base troops there for some time because security assessments have shown Iranian missiles would have a difficult time targeting the remote area.

Last month the administration announced it was sending 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East as issues with Iran flared but did not specify which countries they were going to. The forces going to Saudi Arabia are part of this deployment.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 352891

Reported Deaths: 7597
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24704451
DeSoto23619283
Harrison21395335
Jackson15984255
Rankin15957294
Madison11224227
Lee10952180
Jones9316171
Forrest9136163
Lauderdale8211244
Lamar736590
Lowndes7253152
Lafayette6658125
Washington5681140
Pearl River5396155
Oktibbeha506598
Bolivar5022134
Warren4828128
Panola4823112
Marshall4759106
Pontotoc455773
Neshoba4487181
Hancock444488
Union441479
Monroe4390138
Lincoln4247116
Pike3771114
Leflore3696125
Alcorn362474
Tate356188
Sunflower351794
Adams350690
Scott349177
Yazoo344877
Copiah333569
Simpson329191
Itawamba318581
Tippah316569
Coahoma316385
Covington305584
Prentiss304163
Leake291976
Marion291882
George285851
Wayne282345
Grenada272488
Newton269264
Tishomingo241670
Stone240038
Winston238484
Jasper236248
Attala229974
Chickasaw222760
Clay204654
Holmes204374
Clarke190480
Tallahatchie185842
Smith184936
Calhoun184632
Yalobusha174241
Walthall151249
Lawrence146426
Greene144735
Amite140144
Noxubee137635
Perry137038
Montgomery134644
Carroll127531
Webster125132
Jefferson Davis121334
Tunica116627
Benton108425
Claiborne106131
Kemper105029
Humphreys102533
Franklin88724
Quitman86819
Choctaw83619
Wilkinson79632
Jefferson72328
Sharkey52018
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 595816

Reported Deaths: 11561
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson865251591
Mobile50436872
Madison37905534
Shelby27652260
Tuscaloosa27422465
Montgomery26428628
Baldwin26175329
Lee17414181
Calhoun15549334
Morgan15265291
Etowah15106372
Marshall13248236
Houston12297294
Elmore11006220
St. Clair10903252
Limestone10867158
Cullman10643206
Lauderdale10374255
DeKalb9603193
Talladega9032188
Walker7873288
Autauga7635114
Blount7463140
Jackson7450117
Colbert6780142
Coffee6515132
Dale5803117
Covington4864125
Russell483543
Chilton4828117
Franklin465681
Tallapoosa4591156
Escambia457583
Chambers4007125
Dallas3756164
Clarke374663
Marion3490107
Pike336979
Lawrence3280100
Winston301973
Bibb293766
Geneva293083
Marengo263867
Barbour254361
Pickens247962
Butler243672
Hale236979
Fayette228565
Henry218845
Monroe206941
Randolph203844
Cherokee201748
Washington189439
Macon172252
Crenshaw171758
Clay167659
Cleburne161845
Lamar152638
Lowndes146555
Wilcox132731
Bullock126542
Conecuh123032
Coosa119729
Perry111228
Sumter110933
Greene99937
Choctaw64525
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 87°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 91°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 84°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
87° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 91°
Friday will be just a little warmer in the morning due to some cloud cover in the area. We will see some isolated to widely scattered showers and thunderstorms pop up over portions of our area due to a little bit of low pressure flowing through the area.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather