White House

Trump: US shoots down Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz

‘The drone was immediately destroyed,’ the president said

President Donald Trump and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (L) talk to reporters in the Oval Office at the White House July 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. According to the Dutch government, the two leaders will discuss defense and security cooperation, especially focused on whether the Netherlands will participate in a global effort to secure international waterways against threats from Iran. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Trump said U.S. forces shot down an Iranian drone that was operating too close to an American vessel.

Trump said the drone was shot down in the Strait of Hormuz, an important shipping lane that provides the only access to open ocean from the Persian Gulf. He called on other countries to condemn Iran and protect their own ships.

[Drums of looming Iran war resound in Congress]

The president made the announcement during an East Room event with Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

The drone was immediately destroyed,” he said.

Trump said the U.S.S. Boxer destroyed the Iranian drone after it came within 1,000 yards of the ship. “Multiple calls” to stand down were ignored, and the drone was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew, Trump said.

[Senate rejects efforts to limit Trump’s ability to launch war with Iran]

“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,” Trump said. “The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities, and interests.”

Rutte was in the East Room with Trump to present an American flag that flew on a Navy ship on D-Day.

The 48-Star U.S. flag that led the first American troops to Utah Beach was purchased at auction by a Dutch art collector three years ago for $514,000, according to pool reports. The flag, replete with a bullet hole from a German Machine gun, had been owned by Lieutenant Howard Vander Beek the skipper of U.S. Navy vessel LCC 60  until his 2014 death.

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