IRAN claimed the United States “shot down their own UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) by mistake”, while dismissing US’ claims of downing an Iranian drone. iran said all the country’s drones had returned safely to base.
Iran’s statement came hours after the US President Donald Trump said that a US Navy ship had “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, the world`s most important oil artery.
“We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS by mistake!” tweeted Seyed Abbas Araghchi, Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran.
“All drones belonging to Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz … returned safely to their bases after their mission of identification and control, and there is no report of any operational response by USS Boxer,” Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior armed forces spokesman, was quoted as saying by news agency Tasnim.
In this latest episode to stir tensions between the NATO allies, Trump said at the White House event that the Iranian drone flew within 1,000 yards of the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, and ignored “multiple calls to stand down.”
Later, the Pentagon said in a statement that the USS Boxer had taken “defensive action” against a drone, but did not mention whether the aircraft was Iranian.
“At approximately 10 am 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,” said the Pentagon.
Tensions ran high in the Gulf region with fears that the United States and Iran could stumble into war.