Alwaght- The Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said shooting down of a US spy drone after violating Iran's airspace sends a clear message to the enemies.
Addressing a conference in the western province of Kurdistan on Thursday, Major General Hossein Salami described the IRGC Aerospace Force’s move to shoot down an American pilotless aircraft that had violated the country’s airspace as courageous.
“The downing of the US drone had an explicit, decisive and clear message that defenders of the Islamic Iran’s borders will show decisive and knockout reactions to aggression against this territory by any foreigners,” he added.
“Borders are our red line, and any enemy violating these borders will not go back,” the commander underlined.
He also made it clear that Iran is not seeking war with any country but is fully prepared for any confrontation. “Today’s incident was a clear sign of such a precise message.”
The general also reminded the enemies that the only way for them to remain safe is to respect Iran’s territorial integrity, national security, and vital interests.
In a statement issued early Thursday, the IRGC said the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region — which sits in the central district of Jask County — after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.
The statement added that further details will be released about the operation later.
An informed IRGC source in Hormozgan Province said the drone had been targeted near the Kouh-e Mobarak region and fell down in the area of Ras al-Shir in Iran’s territorial waters.
He told the IRNA news agency that the downing came after repeated violations of Iran’s airspace by US reconnaissance drones in the Persian Gulf region.
Reacting to the news, the US military claimed it did not fly over Iranian airspace on Wednesday.
“No US aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace today,” said Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the American military’s Central Command.
However, a US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to the Associated Press, confirmed on Thursday that an American military drone had been shot down in “international airspace” over the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
He identified the drone as a US Navy MQ-4C Triton, which builds on elements of the RQ-4 Global Hawk with minor changes.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather, maker Northrop Grumman says on its website.
The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is a maritime derivative of the RQ-4B Global Hawk and the airborne element of the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System.