U.S. 'Might Have' Shot Down Second Iranian Drone in Strait of Hormuz, Official Says

U.S. Army has no definite confirmation for second drone brought down last week

A SH-60 Sea Hawk flies over the USS Boxer off Oman, July 19, 2019.
Keypher Strombeck/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters

A U.S. Navy ship may have brought down a second Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz last week, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, adding that the military did not have definite confirmation. 

"We brought down one for sure... There might have been a second," said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. 

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The head of U.S. Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, also told CBS News that the United States may have brought down a second drone. 

"We are confident we brought down one drone, we may have brought down a second," McKenzie said.

Iran refuted last week the American claims over the first drone, which Washington said had come too close to a U.S. warship. 

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the U.S. Navy warship Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, had destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz because it had flown to within 1,000 yards (914 meters) of the ship in a "provocative and hostile action." A U.S. official said the drone was brought down by electronic jamming. 

"No doubt about it, no. We shot it down," Trump said. 

He said the United States hopes "for their sake they don't do anything foolish. If they do they will pay a price like nobody has ever paid a price." 

But Iran said all of its drones were accounted for. 

"All drones belonging to Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz ... returned safely to their bases after their mission of identification and control," Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior Iranian armed forces spokesman, was quoted by Tasnim as saying. 

He said there was no report of any "operational response" by the Boxer and Iran's state television broadcast a video showing aerial views of ships that it said disproved the U.S. claim. 

The television station said the footage, which came from the Revolutionary Guards, and the timing notations indicated the pilotless aircraft was still filming after Washington said it had been downed.