US drone shot down by an Iranian missile, US official says
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region amid rising tensions between Iran and the U.S. (all times local):
A U.S. official says that an Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down a U.S. drone flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
The official spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity as the information had yet to be cleared for release to the public.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Thursday it shot down a U.S. drone amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over its collapsing nuclear deal.
It said the U.S. drone was flying in Iranian airspace, contradicting the U.S. official.
The reported downing of the RQ-4 Global Hawk comes after the U.S. military previously alleged Iran fired a missile at another drone last week that responded to the attack on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. blames Iran for the attack on the ships, something Tehran denies.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency says the country’s Revolutionary Guard has shot down a U.S. drone. The U.S. military declined to immediately comment.
IRNA said Thursday the drone was hit when it entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran’s Hormozgan province.
IRNA, citing the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, identified the drone as an RQ-4 Global Hawk.
Capt. Bill Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, declined to comment when asked if an American drone was shot down.
However, he told The Associated Press: “There was no drone over Iranian territory.”
The reported shootdown comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. It takes root in President Donald Trump’s decision a year ago to withdraw America from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.