WASHINGTON — U.S. forces may have downed two Iranian drones on Thursday — not just one as the Pentagon previously announced, using newly developed jamming devices, the head of U.S. Central Command said Tuesday.
Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the CENTCOM commander, said the confrontation with Iranian military elements was “a complex tactical picture” that appears to also have involved Iranian helicopters and fast boats moving toward the USS Boxer.
“We believe two drones were successfully engaged,” McKenzie said in an interview with CBS News. “There may have been more that, you know, we’re not aware of. Those are the two that we engaged successfully.”
McKenzie made the comments on the USS Boxer. The CBS Pentagon reporter is traveling with him.
The new anti-drone system was recently installed on the USS Boxer, one reason that amphibious assault ship was included in the reinforcements sent to the Persian Gulf region in the face of rising believed threats from Iran.
The Pentagon said on Thursday that the USS Boxer had shot down one unmanned drone that morning in international waters near the Strait of Hormutz, shortly after the ship arrived in the Persian Gulf. The incident was the U.S. military’s first overt action since Iran shot down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone on June 20.
Iran has maintained the U.S. shot down one of its own drones. President Donald Trump rejected that claim during a White House event Monday and said the Pentagon used “new technology that’s actually quite amazing.”