Iran shot down a US drone over the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, escalating already-high tensions and stirring questions about a potential impending war between the countries. US leaders were already on high alert after intelligence agencies discovered “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” suggesting an impending attack from the country last May.
This most recent drone attack comes in the wake of two oil tanker explosions off of Iran’s coast just last week, as well as an attempted shooting of a second US drone. US officials continue to investigate the unfolding events, but do suspect Iranian involvement in both incidents.
Iran denies attacking the oil tankers in last week’s clash, but there is proof the tiny country displayed the very same weapons in an Iranian military parade only weeks ago. US officials are warning Iranian forces to avoid further clashes or face retribution. President Trump recently announced a plan to send 1,000 new troops to the Middle East – likely an attempt to ramp up our presence in the zone should the situation decline.
A Clear Message
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, took responsibility for the attack, but accused American forces of encroaching on Iranian territory. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard claims they shot the US drone only after it flew into Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz, but US leaders deny the claim, accusing Iran of political manipulation.
A spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry also stated that they could not condone illegal trespassing by foreign flying objects. US military spokesman Captain Bill Urban disregarded these statements, saying that US forces only operated the RQ-4 Global Hawk drone in international airspace.
In a further attempt to push America’s buttons, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, General Hossein Salami, gave a live speech shortly after the attack was made public. He said the attack on the drone was “a clear message” to the United States and that Iran doesn’t “have any intention for war with any country, but we are ready for war.”
A Very Big Mistake!
The Pentagon is preparing options for limited military strikes, but it is expected that this current act of violence against the United States will guarantee some sort of retaliation. Prior to today’s attack, Trump stated that he didn’t want to go to war with Iran and that he considered the attacks on the tankers to be minor. It sounds like his view has now changed. This morning Trump had this to say on Twitter:
Iran made a very big mistake!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2019
Nancy Pelosi also announced that officials are currently briefing lawmakers on the attack and how what the US response will be.
The Democrats have been condemning the administration’s decision to build up its military forces in Iran since early May, and it’s a popular talking point among presidential nominees. Hopefully, they will see this attack for what it is and support President Trump handling Iran — how he sees fit.