The U.S. has destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after it threatened an American warship, President Donald Trump said on Thursday.
The Iranian unmanned aircraft was shot down by the USS Boxer, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship.
"The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone which had closed into a very, very near-distance, approximately 1,000 yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down, and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew," Trump said at the White House.
"The drone was immediately destroyed," he added.
Trump said the U.S. "reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities and interests," and called on other nations to "protect their ships as they go through the strait and to work with us in the future."
Tensions in the Strait of Hormuz have flared in recent months following Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports that were lifted as part of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers.
Trump unilaterally exited the U.S. from the agreement in May 2018, calling on other parties to follow suit while taking actions to scuttle the pact.
Iran downed a U.S. drone in June that it says violated its airspace -- a claim contested by the Trump administration which says it remained above international waters.
The incident nearly resulted in retaliatory strikes Trump says he called off because he said it would have been a disproportionate response.
The Strait of Hormuz, which separates the Gulf of Oman from the Persian Gulf, has been a hotbed of activity amid the standoff with Iran on the one side, and the U.S. and its Gulf Arab allies on the other.
Since May mysterious attacks the U.S. blames on Iran struck six oil tankers near the strait.
It is one of the most critical waterways for the global energy trade with roughly 20% of the world's oil supply passing through it daily./aa