According to a statement issued by the Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) early Thursday, Iran’s Air Force has shot down the US made Global Hawk Surveillance drone near Kouh-e Mobarak region which sits in the center district of Jask County after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.
The Global Hawk had flown from one of the American bases in the southern parts of Persian gulf at 00:14 local time, with it’s identification transponder off. Then the drone had stealthily continued on the route from the strait of Hormuz towards Iran’s port city of Chabahar. While returning towards west of the Strait of Hormuz, the drone violated Iran’s territorial airspace and began gathering intelligence and spying, the statement said. The drone had been targeted and shot down by the IRGC at 04:05 a.m local time, it added.
Reacting to the news, the US military claimed it did not fly over Iranian airspace on Wednesday.
“No US aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace today,” said Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the American military’s Central Command.
However, a US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to the Associated Press, confirmed on Thursday that an American military drone had been shot down in “international airspace” over the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
He identified the drone as a US Navy MQ-4C Triton, which builds on elements of the RQ-4 Global Hawk with minor changes.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather, maker Northrop Grumman says on its website.
The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is a maritime derivative of the RQ-4B Global Hawk and the airborne element of the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS).
Tensions have been running between Iran and the US in recent weeks, with Washington stepping up its provocative military moves in the Middle East.
Last month, Washington dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber task force, and an amphibious assault ship to the Persian Gulf, citing an alleged Iranian threat.
On Monday, the Pentagon announced that the US will send 1,000 additional US forces and more military resources to the Middle East.
In the recent years we have seen US performing various activities such as blaming Iran for attacking the oil tankers in the omani sea or for the recent Japanese ship’s attacks in order to put more pressure on Iran and create more conflict in the Middle East.