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.
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.
“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.