The United States announced that a Navy high-altitude drone was shot down over the Persian Gulf region by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
The U.S. Central Command said a Broad Area Maritime Surveillance ISR aircraft, also known as a BAMS-D, was shot down in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz about 7:35 p.m. Wednesday EDT. (About 4:05 a.m. Thursday local time.)
Capt. Bill Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, said in a statement that reports coming from Iran that claim the drone was flying over the Islamic Republic are absolutely “false.”
“This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace,” the statement said, according to Fox News.
In fact, the drone, a MQ-4C Triton, was about 17 miles from the Iran when it was shot down, according to Fox.
Military officials said that Iran tried to shoot down another drone that was operating in the area but missed.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) June 20, 2019
Now, the race is on for the U.S. to retrieve the wreckage from the drone before Iranian forces get to it.
In addition to the attack on the U.S. drone, Fox reported that military sources said a Saudi Arabian power plant was also attacked by Iran Wednesday evening.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, meanwhile, is claiming the drone was shot down over Iran and the attack was meant to send a “clear message” to the U.S
According to Fox, the Guard said when the drone came near its Kouhmobarak district in Southern Iran — which is close to the Strait of Hormuz — the drone was shot down by a truck-based missile system.
In a televised address, Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami said, “We do not have any intention for war with any country, but we are fully ready for war,” Fox reported.
Additionally, Iran’s Foreign Ministry officially rebuked the U.S. for allegedly entering its airspace and called it a “provocative” move, according to CBS News.
The Foreign Ministry also warned the U.S. that the alleged action could warrant a strong response from Iran.
“Borders are our red line. Any enemy that violates the borders will be annihilated,” Salami said, according to Fox.
The attack comes as tensions continue to mount between the two countries and less than a week after two oil tankers were attacked in the Strait of Hormuz.
U.S. military officials say that Iran fired a missile at a drone last week that was attempting to monitor the two oil tankers that were attacked.
The United States blames Iran for the attacks on the tankers while Iran continues to deny any involvement.
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