Iran shoots down US drone aircraft

Iranian forces have shot down a United States mil...

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 9:01 AM
Updated: Jun 20, 2019 10:00 AM

Iranian forces have shot down a United States military drone, a move that appears to have escalated the volatile situation playing out between Washington and Tehran in the Middle East.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it had shot down an 'intruding American spy drone' after it entered into the country's territory Thursday.

A US official confirmed to CNN a drone had been shot down, but said the incident occurred in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most vital shipping routes.

US Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, said in a statement Thursday that the drone that was shot down by Iran was a RQ-4A Global Hawk High-Altitude, Long, Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

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,' Salami said, according Tasnim.

In comments likely to inflame tensions, Salami said that Iran does 'not want war with any country, but we are completely, and totally, ready and prepared for war.'

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Revolutionary Guard said 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 said.

'At 4.05 a.m. local time while the violating airplane was over Iranian territory, [it] was shot down,' it added.

According to Iran's semi-official Tasnim News Agency, the drone was shot down by Khordad-3 medium range air defense missile.

Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Abbas Mousavi said the country condemned the 'aggressive and provocative action.'

'We warn against any violation of Iran's airspace by foreign flying objects and declare that violators are responsible for the consequences of their actions,' he was quoted by Tasnim as saying.

Reuters quoted Cap. Bill Urban, a spokesman for the US Central Command, as saying 'no US aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace' Thursday.

Relations between the two adversaries have taken a dangerous turn this week, beginning with the Trump administration's decision Monday to deploy 1,000 additional troops and more military resources to the Middle East. The forces are being sent in response to what Washington called 'hostile behavior by Iranian forces that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region.'

US officials blame Iran for conducting attacks against oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and the US President himself last week accused Iran of being behind the provocation, telling Fox News: 'It was them that did it.'

Tehran has categorically denied the accusations, and President Hassan Rouhani said the country does not seek war but 'is determined to show its hopefulness and vitality and defeat the enemy's plot.'

Iran has previously been accused of targeting US drones.

In the hours before the attack on the two tankers earlier this month, the Iranians spotted a US drone flying overhead and launched a surface-to-air missile at the unmanned aircraft, a US official told CNN.

In 2014, the Iran's armed forces revealed what it claimed was a copy of a stealth American drone 'commandeered' by Tehran in 2011.

Relations between Iran and the United States have deteriorated since May 2018, when Washington chose to leave the 2015 nuclear deal the Iranian regime negotiated with world powers and reimpose crippling sanctions on Iran's economy.

Trump and many conservatives in the US had long criticized the deal, which allowed Iran to stockpile limited amounts of enriched uranium and heavy water produced in that process, exporting any excess.

Doing so has become extremely difficult after the US revoked waivers that allowed Iran to export those excess stockpiles, effectively forcing Iran to halt enrichment or ignore the limits, which it is now doing.

After a year of waiting, Rouhani announced last month that it would reduce its 'commitments to the deal,' but not fully withdraw from it.

Iran then announced this week that it would resume nuclear enrichment activities, accelerating uranium enrichment to 3.7% -- above the 3.67% mandated by the nuclear deal. Enrichment at this level is enough to continue powering parts of the country's energy needs, but not enough to construct a nuclear bomb.

UPDATE: A US official previously identified to CNN the model of the drone as a MQ-4C Triton, but US Central Command later said it was an RQ-4A Global Hawk.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 768624

Reported Deaths: 13993
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1055891807
Lake569801031
Allen43032699
St. Joseph37344568
Hamilton37335426
Elkhart29783470
Tippecanoe23503230
Vanderburgh23240405
Porter19580327
Johnson18843392
Hendricks18089323
Madison13575347
Clark13552198
Vigo12869256
LaPorte12578225
Monroe12575178
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Kosciusko9792124
Hancock8761150
Bartholomew8274157
Warrick8084157
Floyd8043182
Grant7378181
Wayne7239201
Boone7211105
Morgan6924143
Marshall6345117
Dubois6283118
Cass6096112
Dearborn602178
Noble600890
Henry5958111
Jackson517277
Shelby511598
Lawrence4928127
Gibson463696
Montgomery459292
DeKalb456785
Clinton456055
Harrison454077
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Steuben411260
Miami406073
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Washington254637
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Newton123336
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Brown106243
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Martin92515
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Union73610
Ohio58411
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1125420

Reported Deaths: 20490
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1305631493
Cuyahoga1173952263
Hamilton825481261
Montgomery536581062
Summit489381014
Lucas43799834
Butler40064614
Stark33876939
Lorain26072510
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Mahoning22738613
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Clermont20425261
Delaware19169138
Licking16879227
Trumbull16829492
Fairfield16825207
Medina15880276
Greene15565254
Clark14366308
Portage13450218
Wood13358201
Allen12064245
Richland11748213
Miami11047228
Wayne9275228
Columbiana9216236
Muskingum9144137
Pickaway8755123
Tuscarawas8724255
Marion8716140
Erie8146166
Ashtabula7280179
Hancock7050135
Ross7031165
Geauga6975153
Scioto6726108
Belmont6224179
Lawrence5964104
Union591649
Jefferson5729162
Huron5644122
Sandusky5498130
Darke5448131
Seneca5380128
Washington5373111
Athens527260
Auglaize507787
Mercer491785
Shelby484397
Knox4621113
Madison448066
Ashland446198
Defiance439499
Fulton436875
Putnam4358104
Crawford4120111
Brown410462
Preble3956107
Logan392279
Clinton391466
Ottawa376481
Highland366668
Williams357378
Champaign349860
Guernsey331554
Jackson321954
Perry299050
Morrow294943
Fayette289350
Hardin279665
Henry277467
Coshocton273061
Holmes2726102
Van Wert252365
Gallia251150
Adams250958
Pike244837
Wyandot235557
Hocking222963
Carroll201449
Paulding180142
Meigs151540
Monroe137945
Noble137939
Harrison115438
Morgan111724
Vinton87517
Unassigned04
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