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Countdown to War with Iran? USS Boxer Destroys Iranian Drone
The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer shot down an Iranian drone Thursday in the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump announced.
"The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone which had closed into a very, 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 during a White House ceremony. "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, our facilities, our interests and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce. I also call on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the Strait and to work with us in the future."
A Pentagon spokesman issued a brief statement on Thursday saying a "fixed wing unmanned aerial system" flew dangerously close to the Boxer around 10 a.m. local time while she ship was in international waters transiting the Strait of Hormuz.
"The ship took defensive action against the UAS [unmanned aerial system] to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew," said spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.
Roughly 4,500 Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Group is embarked aboard the Boxer and the two other ships in its amphibious ready group: the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha and the landing ship dock USS Harpers Ferry, according to Reuters.