#Iran shot down a #UnitedStates #militarydrone on #Thursday, further escalating the already volatile situation playing out between #Washington and #Tehran in the #MiddleEast.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it had shot down an "intruding American spy drone" after it entered into the country's territory Thursday.
A US official confirmed to #CNN a drone had been shot down, but said the incident occurred in international airspace over the #StraitofHormuz, one of the world's most vital shipping routes.
US Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, said in a statement Thursday that the drone that was shot down by Iran was a RQ-4A Global Hawk High-Altitude, Long, Endurance (HALE) #UnmannedAircraft System (UAS). The head of the #RevolutionaryGuard Corps, Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, said the shooting down of the drone had sent a warning to the US. "The only way for our enemies to be safe is to respect our sovereignty, national #security, and the national interests of the great Iranian nation," Salami said, according Tasnim.
In comments likely to inflame tensions, Salami said that Iran does "not want war with any country, but we are completely, and totally, ready and prepared for war." In a statement issued on Thursday, the Revolutionary Guard said the drone was launched from a US base south of the Persian Gulf shortly after midnight on Thursday. It said it flew from the Strait of Hormuz towards #Chabahar, a city in southeast Iran. "While returning to the western Hormuz Strait's region the drone violated Iran's airspace and engaged in information gathering and spying," the statement said. "At 4.05 a.m. local time while the violating airplane was over Iranian territory, [it] was shot down," it added.
According to Iran's semi-official Tasnim News Agency, the drone was shot down by Khordad-3 medium range air defense #missile.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Abbas Mousavi said the country condemned the "aggressive and provocative action." "We warn against any violation of Iran's airspace by foreign flying objects and declare that violators are responsible for the consequences of their actions". #dirtyfoul #dirtyfoulnews