|Iran confirms firing at U.S. drone over Persian Gulf||
TEHRAN – Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Friday that an unidentified aircraft entered the airspace over Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf region and was forced to escape after Iranian armed forces took “smart and firm” action.
Vahidi made the remarks in response to the Pentagon which has said that Iranian fighters have fired at a U.S. drone over the Persian Gulf.
The Pentagon claimed on Thursday that Iranian warplanes fired at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace last week but did not hit the aircraft, according to Reuters.
According to the timeline provided by the Pentagon, two Iranian Sukhoi SU-25 aircraft intercepted the American drone on November 1 at about 4:50 a.m. EST (0850 GMT) as it conducted a routine, but classified, surveillance mission over Persian Gulf waters about 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coast.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said the aircraft fired multiple rounds at the Predator drone and followed it for at least several miles as it moved farther away from Iranian airspace.
International airspace begins after 12 nautical miles and Little claimed the drone at no point entered Iranian airspace.
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri also said on Friday that Iranian armed forces will deal with any aircraft that enters the country’s airspace.
Jazayeri said, “The defenders of the Islamic Republic of Iran will give a firm response to any act of aggression from air, land, and sea.”
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