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U.S. downs Iranian drone, escalating crisis in Middle East

U.S. downs Iranian drone, escalating crisis in Middle East

Posted July. 20, 2019 07:30,   

Updated July. 20, 2019 07:30


The U.S. downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz in the Middle East around 10 a.m. on Thursday. This came about a month after Iran destroyed a U.S. drone on June 20. The U.S. has started process to form a multinational defense alliance to seal off the Strait of Hormuz, as the tension in the Middle East is escalating further.

U.S. President Donald Trump stressed on the day the need to form a “multinational defense alliance” to ensure the security of vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz. “Other countries should protect their own ships while passing the Strait of Hormuz. I call on countries to join the U.S. going forward,” President Trump said, urging other nations to join forces. The U.S. State Department and the Defense Department will hold a briefing session for diplomatic corps stationed in Washington Friday. Washington reportedly has already been informed by several countries that they will take part in the alliance for the Strait of Hormuz, a key route for crude oil transportation, which handles 32 percent (53 million barrels) of the daily global crude oil shipment via the sea.

Iran refuted immediately. “If the enemy makes misjudgment, we will shift our defense strategy into offense strategy,” Hossein Salami, the commander of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, said while visiting a naval base near the Strait of Hormuz. Vice commander Ali Fadavi warned that “U.S. vessels will feel as if they are in the hell whenever entering the Persian Gulf.”

Tehran also said on the day that it detained the Panama oil tanker Ria, which the nation rescued after getting distress calls on July 14, and its 12 crewmembers on the charge of crude oil smuggling. The U.S. State Department countered by saying, “Iran must immediately release seized ship and crew.”

Se-Hyung Lee turtle@donga.com