Published: Sat, November 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Iran Says It Has Shot Down 'Unknown' Drone Near Persian Gulf

Iran Says It Has Shot Down 'Unknown' Drone Near Persian Gulf

According to a report by ISNA news agency, the Air Force Defense of the Iranian Army shot down an unidentified drone over Bandar-e Mahshahr in the Persian Gulf early on Friday morning.

In June, Iran shot down an unmanned US surveillance drone, which the Revolutionary Guards said was flying over southern Iran.

"This decisive act and the firing of the missile was in response to the violation of our airspace by a foreign drone", he said. Tasnim cited "unofficial" sources saying the missile that destroyed the drone had been fired "as part of a nighttime combat exercise aiming to test aerial defence systems".

Iran has claimed to have shot down drones before, only for further news on the incidents not to be made public. "Its wreckage has been recovered and is being investigated", the governor of Iran's southern Khuzestan province, Gholamreza Shariati, said, as quoted by IRNA.

Fars news agency later revealed that the drone was Iranian and had been forced to make an emergency landing. Tehran said the drone "violated" its territorial airspace, while the United States called the incident "an unprovoked attack" in worldwide airspace over the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

A US military official told Fox News on Friday that all American drones are accounted for and none have been shot down.

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The U.S. military's Central Command later wrote on Twitter that America had no drone in the area of the reported shootdown.

A US Defense official told the MailOnline: 'There are no reports of a USA drone being shot down'.

The incident comes amid a period of high tension in the Middle East, as the United States continues its so-called "maximum pressure campaign" to cripple the Iranian government through unilateral sanctions, twisting of arms of its trade partners and military brinkmanship.

The crisis deepened with the September 14 attacks on Saudi energy giant Aramco's Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oilfield which halved the kingdom's crude output.

The US has been responding to the escalating tensions with a military build-up in the Gulf and on Thursday launched a new operation with its allies from Bahrain to protect navigation in Gulf waters.

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