Trump plays down loss of drone in Strait of Hormuz

 

Trump plays down loss of drone in Strait of Hormuz

The US was tight-lipped about a response but Russian President Vladimir Putin warned any attack on Iran would spell disaster.

By Allan Jacob

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Published: Thu 20 Jun 2019, 11:24 PM

Last updated: Fri 21 Jun 2019, 1:46 AM

Tensions between US and Iranian forces in the Arabian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz hit a dangerous high on Thursday after Iran shot down a US drone over international waters.
This escalation comes just a week after tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman which the US blamed on Iran.
The US was tight-lipped about a response but Russian President Vladimir Putin warned any attack on Iran would spell disaster.
Speaking to this newspaper, a senior Pentagon official from Washington confirmed the incident happened over the Strait of Hormuz and not over Iranian territorial waters as Iran had claimed earlier in the day.
Commander Rebecca Rebarich, an official in charge of the Middle East in the Office of the Secretary of Defence, said the downed drone was an RQ-4A that is also known as the Global Hawk.
"It was an RQ-4A, which is a US Air Force legacy system within the US Navy broad area maritime surveillance (BAMS-D) program," she told Khaleej Times.
The official did not comment when asked if the US response would retaliate for the Iranian action. 
The US on Wednesday had said Iran's fingerprints were all over last week's attacks on two tankers. Limpet mines were used in the blast on ships.
Earlier on Thursday, Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, said the shooting down of the US unmanned aerial vehicle sent a 'clear message to America'.
"Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false. This was an unprovoked attack on a US surveillance asset in international airspace," US Central Command spokesman, Navy Captain Bill Urban, said. He said it happened in the early hours of Thursday.



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