Military: U.S. spy drone was inside Iranian territory by 7 km

June 25, 2019 - 20:43

TEHRAN – The head of the Geographical Organization of the Armed Forces of Iran has said that a U.S. spy drone which was shot down by Iran on Thursday had trespassed into the Iranian territory by 7 kilometers before it was downed.

“The drone was certainly in Iranian territory by 4 miles or 7 kilometers,” Brigadier General Majid Fakhri told reporters on Tuesday.

He explained that the mentioned depth was specific to the moment the aircraft was hit, adding that the drone had been deeper inside Iranian territory before it reached the hitting spot.

On Monday, local fishermen from the Iranian Island of Qeshm in the Strait of Hormuz found more parts of the American spy drone.

A day after the shooting down, Iranian forces had found and collected some parts of the drone and showcased them to media during a press event.

The United States had confirmed that one of its reconnaissance planes was shot down by Iranian air defenses, but denied that it intruded into Iran’s airspace at the time. Later, anonymous officials told news outlets that the drone might have actually trespassed the Iranian border.

Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that his forces could have shot down a U.S. P8 aircraft with 35 on board which was violating Iran’s airspace at the same time as the drone, but decided to shoot down the drone to only send a message to Washington.

“Along with the American drone was an American P8 aircraft with 35 on board, and it was also violating our airspace and we could have downed it too,” he said. “But we did not do it, because our aim was to warn the terrorist forces of America.”

General Hajizadeh also stressed on Saturday that Iran was not after war but was fully ready to defend itself, adding that the fate of the downed U.S. spy drone was waiting for any intruding flying object.

“Our response to anything trespassing Iranian territory is like this, and if such acts of aggression are repeated, our response will also be the same,” Hajizadeh said.

“We don’t embrace war but we are ready to fully defend the country,” he said.

“We possess a collection of American drones which is a proof that America has violated Iran’s airspace and shows that they don’t want to respect international law,” the commander said.

“America’s measure was in violation of international law and we acted according to our legitimate responsibility,” Hajizadeh said, adding, “It is possible that an American general or some operators were behind this American aggression, we don’t know that. But that measure (intruding into Iranian airspace) is a violation of international aviation rules by a spy drone which then received our natural response.”


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