By staff and agency

Russia says downed U.S. drone was in Iranian airspace

June 25, 2019

Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said on Tuesday that Russia has military intelligence that shows that a U.S. drone was in Iranian airspace when it was shot down by Iran, according to Reuters.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) shot down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone on Thursday morning after it breached Iran’s airspace. The IRGC brought the drone down by firing a surface-to-air missile at it.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the U.S. military drone entered the Iranian airspace from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and it was targeted near Kouh-e Mobarak.

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the aerospace unit of the IRGC, said on Friday that the drone had received warnings for four times before being shot down.

The IRGC released GPS coordinates that showed the drone eight miles off Iran’s coast, inside the 12 nautical miles from the shore that is Iran’s territorial waters.

Brigadier General Majid Fakhri, the head of the Geographical Organization of the Armed Forces of Iran, said on Tuesday that the U.S. drone had trespassed into the Iranian territory by 7 kilometers before it was shot.

“The drone was certainly in Iranian territory by 4 miles or 7 kilometers,” he told reporters.

Patrushev also said that a black-and-white footage as evidence presented by the U.S. alleging Iran was behind attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman was an unprofessional move.

On June 13, two commercial oil tankers were hit in the Gulf of Oman, prompting the evacuation and rescue of dozens of crew members.

The U.S. has blamed Iran for the attacks without presenting a shred of factual evidence.

NA/PA