Iran Releases "Video Proof" Contradicting Trump Claim US Shot Down Drone

Earlier in the day top Iranian officials claimed the US Navy may have shot down its own US drone "by mistake" - contradicting the White House account that it had been "immediately destroyed" when it came within 1,000 yards of the ship according to President Trump during Thursday's press briefing announcing the Iranian drone downing. Iran's military says all of its drones are accounted for and that it had successfully tracked and monitored the USS Boxer via its overhead unmanned aerial system (UAS) without incident.

Hours following the bizarre contradiction over basic facts, Iran aired video "proof" that its version of events are correct on state TV. Iran's Press TV published the following video:

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) issued a statement calling Trump's account of an Iranian drone downing "sheer lies" and says the newly released drone footage proves the US version of events can't possibly be true. 

An Iranian military spokesman said its reconnaissance drone "returned to base safely after mission" and the drone observation video of the USS Boxer confirms this. 

US military officials who previously spoke to CNN said the Iranian drone had been brought down through electronic jamming measures. If true there's a strong likelihood the drone may have been recovered by US forces, which can be presented as verifying the White House account. 

The video was released after Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Twitter early Friday:

"We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) by mistake!" 

Iran's drone footage was aired with the time stamp and date evident, and state media released the following English language statement:

US President Donald Trump claimed on Thursday that the drone had been shot down after it flew to within 900 meters the US navy’s USS Boxer amphibious assault ship and ignored “multiple calls to stand down.”

Later, the Pentagon claimed the warship had taken “defensive action” against an Iranian drone at 10 a.m. local time (07:00 GMT) on Thursday.

The IRGC’s footage shows its Aerospace’s drone was carrying out its ongoing mission in the region before the entry of the US navy’s USS Boxer — escorted by five vessels — into the Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranians are claiming that the time stamp reveals the drone was still in flight after the time President Trump says it was downed by the USS Boxer.

[Note: Iran like other Middle East states uses a "YY/MM/DD" date format, hence yesterday's date of July 18, 2019 is shown as 19/07/18.]

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