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Iran denies Trump's claim that US warship shot down its drone

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    Reuters

Dubai   /   Fri, July 19, 2019   /   03:08 pm
Iran denies Trump's claim that US warship shot down its drone This US Navy file photo taken on March 7, 2016 shows the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) as it transits the East Sea during Exercise Ssang Yong 2016. The US military shot down an Iranian drone on July 18, 2019 that came within 1,000 yards of one of its naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump said. (AFP/Craig Z. Rodarte / US NAVY)

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi denied on Friday that Iran had lost a drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the United States said that a US Navy ship had "destroyed" an Iranian drone.

"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 [Unmanned Aerial System] by mistake!," Araqchi said on Twitter, referring to a US warship in the strategic waterway.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the drone had flown to within 1,000 yards (metres) of the USS Boxer and had ignored "multiple calls to stand down" in the latest episode to stir tensions in the Gulf.

Meanwhile, Iran's top military spokesman said all the country's drones had returned safely to base, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, after Trump said a US Navy ship had "destroyed" one.

"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 Tasnim.

Trump said on Thursday that the drone had flown to within 1,000 yards (914 metres) of the U.S. warship Boxer and had ignored "multiple calls to stand down" in the latest episode to stir tension in the Gulf.

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