President Donald Trump said that the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Boxer destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday that was “threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew.”
“The Boxer took defense action against the drone which had closed into a very close distance, approximately a thousand yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew,” Trump said at the White House. “The drone was immediately destroyed.”
“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,” he continued. “The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests, and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran’s attempt to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce. I also call on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the Straight of Hormuz and to work with us in the future.”
In a statement, chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said the incident occurred at approximately 10 a.m., local time, when the Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz, adding that the Iranian “fixed wing unmanned aerial system” approached the Boxer and “closed within a threatening range.”
A U.S. official told ABC News that it was the Marines of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit that destroyed the Iranian drone using counter-drone jamming equipment.
The Marines from that unit make up several thousand of the approximately 4,500 Marines and U.S. Navy sailors on board the Boxer.