Iran has deliberately shot down an unarmed United States military drone, a move that could escalate tensions growing between the two countries.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it shot down an “intruding American spy drone” that violated Iran’s airspace, and “engaged in information gathering and spying.” They have stated that the drone was an RQ-4 Global Hawk, an unmanned surveillance aircraft that was developed by weapons manufacturer Northrop Grumman.
However, while a U.S. official has confirmed that a drone has been shot down, it is being said that the drone was not in Iranian airspace. They are saying that the incident occurred while the drone was flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, and have stated that the drone was an MQ-4C Triton. The MQ-4C Triton is also an unmanned surveillance aircraft.
Major General Hossein Salami, head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, has gone on record to say that shooting down the drone had sent a clear and decisive warning to the U.S. He has said that the only way for Iran’s enemies to stay safe is to respect the “territorial integrity and national interests of Iran,” because they will decisively respond to the violation by any stranger to their land.
Salami also added that while Iran does not intend to engage in war with any country, they are completely ready and prepared for war.