Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) will soon release photos of the USS Boxer taken by an unmanned aerial vehicle that the US claims to have downed, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported on Friday, citing the Corps’ statement.
"We will soon release photos of the USS Boxer taken by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ unmanned aerial vehicle," the statement reads.
US President Donald Trump said earlier that the USS Boxer had downed an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz, which was flying too close to the warship, TASS reports.
According to the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the photos will be released "to show the international community that the United States’ claims are baseless." "The photos prove that the IRGC’s unmanned aerial vehicle had begun monitoring the area before the US navy ship entered the Strait of Hormuz. It wasn’t downed and safely returned to its base," the statement pointed out.
Tensions around Iran started to escalate after two oil tankers had caught fire following an alleged attack in the Gulf of Oman on June 13. The US and Saudi Arabia blamed the incident on Iran, who denied all accusations. On June 20, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps claimed to have downed a US drone over the country’s southern Hormozgan Province.
US Central Command Spokesperson Bill Urban, in turn, said that the unmanned aerial vehicle had been flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. According to the media, following these developments, Trump approved military strikes against Iran but pulled back from launching them ten minutes before the operation was due to begin.