As Elizabeth Vaughn covered earlier on Thursday, a U.S. Navy drone was shot down by Iran over the Strait of Hormuz in the early morning. According to the Iran state-run news agency, the drone had flown into Iranian airspace, specifically southern Iran’s Hormozgan province, resulting in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shooting it down.
The state-run news agency relayed comments from an IRG commander that said shooting down the drone sends “‘a clear message’ to the U.S. and while Iran has no intention of war with anyone, it’s ‘ready for war.’”
It would appear that President Donald Trump also has a message to give in return, and as per the usual, he went to Twitter to deliver it.
“Iran made a very big mistake!” tweeted Trump.
Iran made a very big mistake!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2019
Reuters reported that Navy Captain Bill Urban of the U.S. military’s Central Command said that Iran’s account of the drone’s location was false, and called the attack “unprovoked”:
“This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international air space,” Urban said. The drone, he added, was downed over the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 2335 GMT – in the early morning hours of local time in the Gulf.
Separately, a U.S. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity the debris field from the drone was in international waters in the Strait and U.S. naval assets have been dispatched to the area.
Things have been escalating between the U.S. and Iran since mid-May including explosive strikes on six oil tankers after the U.S. has made efforts to cripple Iran’s nuclear ballistic capabilities.
According to Reuters, things are getting pretty serious as the United States moves more boots on the ground and hardware into the Middle East. This includes 1,000 troops, Patriot missiles and manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft. This is in addition to the 1,500 troops moved to the Middle East directly after the tanker attack.
Where this goes is anyone’s guess, though Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have all said they don’t really have interest in war with one another.
What kind of punishment Trump has in mind for Iran over the drone being shot down is still yet to be revealed.