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Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it had shot down an "intruding American spy drone" after it entered into the country's territory Thursday. U.S has also acknowledged that an RQ-4A Global Hawk High-Altitude, Long, Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) has been downed.
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Twitter on Thursday. "At 00:14 US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode & violated Iranian airspace. It was targeted at 04:05 at the coordinates (25°59'43"N 57°02'25"E) near Kouh-e Mobarak”.
The Revolutionary Guard of Iran in a statement issued on Thursday stated,
“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 added, "At 4.05 a.m. local time while the violating airplane was over Iranian territory, [it] was shot down.”
The head of the Revolutionary Guard 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."
The location of the drone has become a key point of contention since the incident. Iran maintains that the US aircraft was downed in Iranian territory, while the U.S claims that it was in international airspace.
The United States has provided a different coordinate which is around 9 nautical miles southwest of what Iran as furnished.
U.S President Donald Trump has tweeted that "Iran made a very big mistake.”
Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in a joint media appearance with the visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"This drone was in international waters, clearly. We have it all documented scientifically not just words. And they made a very big mistake,"
A single RQ-4A Global Hawk costs $131.4 million excluding R&D expenses, which makes it pricier than an F 35.
This latest incident could be an inflection point and lead to the outbreak of a conflict between U.S & Iran.
In this video Defense Updates lists 3 American weapons that can bring Iran’s military to its knees in 1 hour.
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"Giant Wyrm" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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