Jul 18, 2019

Trump says U.S. "destroyed" Iranian drone near Strait of Hormuz

President Trump. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters Thursday that the USS Boxer, operating in the Strait of Hormuz, "destroyed" an Iranian drone that he said approached within 1,000 yards and ignored calls to stand down.

Why it matters: When Iran downed a U.S. drone near the Strait of Hormuz last month, it very nearly led to military conflict. After calling off an airstrike, Trump later tweeted that any "attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force," adding on Thursday that other nations should join the U.S. in condemning Iran's "attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce."

Statement from the Pentagon:

"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."

Update: U.S. defense officials told reporters that the Iranian drone was brought down by "electronic warfare jamming."

Go deeper: Strait of Hormuz re-enters focus for U.S.-Iran tensions

Editor’s note: This story previously said the U.S. had "shot down" the drone. It has now been updated to reflect the new information provided by defense officials.

Go deeper

Iran denies that U.S. destroyed its drone

The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer. Photo: MCSN Craig Z. Rodarte/U.S. Navy/Getty Images

President Trump claimed a U.S. warship downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, but Iranian officials denied Friday that the country had lost any drones, reports the AP.

Why it matters: When Iran downed a U.S. drone in the same area last month, it very nearly led to military conflict, per Axios' Dave Lawler, as the tension between the two countries is unfolding in a strait that carries a fifth of all global crude exports.

Go deeperArrowJul 19, 2019

Iran says it seized foreign oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz

Oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Photo: Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images

Iranian state TV announced Thursday that the country's Revolutionary Guard seized a foreign tanker with 12 crew members onboard in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, accusing the ship of smuggling fuel, per the AP.

The big picture: While the Iranian report did not identify which country the ship belonged to, a U.S. official told the AP that it was likely a small, Panamanian-flagged tanker that operated around the United Arab Emirates and had turned off its tracking equipment on Sunday.

Go deeperArrowJul 18, 2019

Finding a way off the U.S.-Iran ledge

Trump on Thursday at the White House. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

An American warship "destroyed" an Iranian drone operating in the Strait of Hormuz, President Trump announced Thursday.

Why it matters: When Iran downed a U.S. drone last month, it very nearly led to a military conflict. Thursday's move came hours after news that Iran had seized a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz — the latest in a string of incidents in or near the narrow waterway through which one-fifth of the world's oil supply travels.

Go deeperArrowJul 18, 2019