June 20 : Iran has shot down US ‘spy’ drone in the strait of Hormuz, accusing Washington of breaching Iran’s national sovereignty.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday that they had used a surface to air missile to shoot down the RQ-4 Global Hawk drone when it entered Iran’s airspace “near the Kouhmobarak district in the south.” This has further strained Washington-Tehran relations over last week’s oil tanker attacks.
The US has confirmed that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards shot down a maritime surveillance drone, but denied that it had been flying over Iranian airspace. US military officials called the incident an “unprovoked attack.”
US Central Command released a statement confirming that an RQ-4 Global Hawk maritime surveillance drone had been “shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.”
A CentCom spokesman, Capt Bill Urban said it was a US navy Global Hawk surveillance drone, which had been downed by an Iranian surface-to-air missile over the Strait of Hormuz at 11.35pm GMT.
“Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false. This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace,” Urban said.
General Hossein Salami, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, said the incident sent “a clear message” to the US, adding that Iran does “not have any intention for war with any country, but we are ready for war.”
The tensions have escalated to the extent that Washington has also increased its military presence in the region.
The US accused Iran last week of attacking Japanese and Norwegian flagged tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.Iran has rejected Washington’s claims.