A US military surveillance drone has been shot down by Iranian forces while flying over the Strait of Hormuz. Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said the aircraft had violated Iranian airspace, and that the incident sent a “clear message to America”.
But the US military insisted the drone had been over international waters at the time, and condemned what it called an “unprovoked attack” by the IRGC. President Donald Trump tweeted: “Iran made a very big mistake!”
The confirmation comes amid growing hostility in the Gulf region between Washington and Tehran. Iran’s state-run Press TV as well as its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced earlier that the US-made RQ-4 Global Hawk “spy drone” was shot down in the country’s coastal province of Hormozgan, near the Strait of Hormuz.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps air force shot down an “American espionage drone” that was invading Iranian territory, the IRGC’s public relations arm said in a statement released on Thursday. The drone, identified as an RQ-4 Global Hawk by state-run IRNA news agency, was flying above Kuh Mubarak in Hormozgan province.
Tensions between the US and Iran are running high, with rumors the US is plotting a “tactical assault” in response to last week’s attacks on Japanese and Norwegian oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. While the US immediately blamed those attacks on Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s explanation of the attacks diverged significantly from the experiences of the Japanese sailors on board one of the injured ships, and even US allies have demanded further proof before they sign on to the blame-Iran narrative.
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17 November, 2019