|Iranian fighter chased U.S. drone over Persian Gulf: Pentagon||
TEHRAN – An Iranian jet fighter pursued an American surveillance drone over the Persian Gulf this week, Pentagon officials said on Thursday, according to the New York Times.
The chase, which occurred on Tuesday, followed another encounter in November, when Iranian warplanes fired on a Predator drone carrying out a similar classified surveillance mission and forced it to escape.
The deputy commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, said at the time that Iran had firm evidence that the U.S. drone, which was targeted by Iran, had entered the country’s airspace.
Pentagon officials claimed that in both instances the drones were in international airspace.
The Pentagon press secretary, George Little, said that in the episode on Tuesday, an Iranian F-4 jet fighter approached within 16 miles of the Predator, which was being escorted by a pair of American military aircraft. United States officials did not say what type of American planes were involved.
“The Iranian aircraft departed after a verbal warning,” Little claimed.
Little said that after the encounter in November, the United States sent a message to Iran that the American military would “continue to conduct surveillance flights over international waters consistent with longstanding practice and our commitment to the security of the region.”
“We also communicated that we reserve the right to protect our military assets as well as our forces and will continue to do so going forward,” Little said.
In 2011, an RQ-170 surveillance drone operated by the CIA was brought down by Iranian armed forces.
That episode came to light after Iran announced on December 4, 2011 that it had electronically attacked the drone and guided it to a landing but did not say when the incident occurred.
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader