Iran is claiming its Revolutionary Guard have shot down a US spy drone which will only exacerbate the deep divisions between the two countries.
Iran is claiming its Revolutionary Guard have shot down a US spy drone, which will only increase tensions between the two countries.
The Islamic Republic News Agency says the incident happened in its airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran’s Hormozgan province.
“No US drone was operating in Iranian airspace today,” said US Central Command spokesman, according to CNBC.
The drone said to have been shot down is claimed to be an RQ-4 Global Hawk.
The incident comes after the US military previously alleged Iran fired a missile at another drone last week while responding to the attack on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman. The US blames Iran for the attack on the ships, which Tehran denies.
Declassified US Navy image of the damage to one of the oil tanks hit in the Gulf of Oman.
Lt Col Earl Brown claimed Iranian authorities tried to use a surface-to-air missile to hit the MQ-9 drone.
The drone was flying over one of two crippled tankers in the gulf that the US publicly blamed on Iran.
The outgoing Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan announced the deployment of 1,000 more US troops to the region in response to “hostile behaviour”.
“I have authorised approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” Shanahan said in a statement.
“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behaviour by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region.”
The deployment comes after a similar deployment of 1,500 US troops occurred in late May.
Imagery taken from a US Navy MH-60R helicopter of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy after removing an unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous. Photo: US Navy.
Iran and its backers in Russia have accused the White House of unnecessarily increasing tensions in the region, starting with Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally pull the US out of the international nuclear agreement with Iran, ratcheting up economic sanctions and blacklisting its state institutions.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded saying he would not “wage war against any nation”, but his country is united against the US.
“Iran will not wage war against any nation,” he said.
“Despite all of the Americans’ efforts in the region and their desire to cut off our ties with all of the world and their desire to keep Iran secluded, they have been unsuccessful.
“The entire Iranian nation is unanimous in confronting” the US in the Middle East, he added.
“The end of this battle will see victory of the Iranian nation.”