Iran has asserted that all of its drones are accounted for but CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie claimed in an interview with CBS News on Tuesday that he was “confident” about the first one.
“We’re confident we brought down one drone; we may have brought down a second,” McKenzie said, referring to the USS Boxer’s encounter with an unmanned aircraft allegedly belonging to Iran. McKenzie’s comments stepped up Washington’s baseless claims for which it has released no footage so far.
Moving between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, the USS Boxer is said to have used electronic measures to take down a drone that the US claims was being operated by Iran.
“We believe two drones were successfully engaged,” McKenzie claimed, speaking aboard the USS Boxer amphibious assault ship. “There may have been more that, you know, we’re not aware of. Those are the two that we engaged successfully.”
Iran has denied that it has lost any of its drones in a military confrontation with the US.
Commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division Amir-Ali Hajizadeh has called US President Donald Trump’s claim “a lie.”
“The lie told by Trump was so big that we believed it at first that they had been able to shoot down one of our drones,” Hajizadeh notedSunday.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has also released footage captured by an Iranian drone flying over the Strait of Hormuz and monitoring a United States Navy vessel, belying the claim. A few hours after Trump’s allegation, Iran moved to reject his claim with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi saying in a tweet that ““We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else.”
US National Security Advisor John Bolton told reporters at the White House on Friday that the Trump administration may release video of the incident later.