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U.S. Warship Might Have Destroyed Their Drone By Mistake: Iran

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Iran refuted US claim that their warship has destroyed an Iranian drone above the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, as it came dangerously close to the vessel.

President Donald Trump confirmed the incident at a briefing at the White House, on the sidelines of a flag ceremony with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

He said USS Boxer, a navy amphibious assault ship, shot the drone down when it closed into a distance of 1,000 yards, ignoring repeated calls to back out, and was threatening the safety of the ship and its crew.

Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said the incident took place at 10 am local time, and that it was a fixed-wing unmanned aerial system (UAS), but Iran's deputy foreign minister denied it.

Al Jazeera quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that he has no information about losing a drone.

Abbas Araghchi said on Twitter Friday that the US could have downed their own drone by mistake.

"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 by mistake!" he tweeted.

Trump termed the downing of the drone as a "defensive action", and tried to justify it by saying that the United States has the right to defend its personnel, facilities and interests.

He called on all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to "disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce".

He also urged other nations to protect their ships as they pass through the economically strategic and sensitive Strait Of Hormuz, and to work with the US authorities in future.

US-Iran relation is at its lowest ebb after a spate of recent incidents.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps had shot down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone last month, alleging that it violated Iranian airspace for spying. But US denied the allegation, saying the aircraft was attacked in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.

An open war between the United States and Iran was averted after Trump changed his decision at the last minute to order a military attack on the Islamic nation in retaliation for targeting its drone.

The President followed it up by imposing sanctions targeting Iran's nuclear weapons program.

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