The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force shot down a US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that intruded into the airspace of Iran on Thursday morning.
The IRGC public relations department said in a statement on Thursday that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of Thursday, was fired at by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.
It added that the American “Global Hawk” spy drone has been shot down.
The area is located at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, only some 80 kilometers from the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
incident occurred a day after Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National
Security Council Ali Shamkhani warned of Tehran’s harsh response to any
intrusion into its airspace or maritime borders.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 10th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues in Russia’s Ufa on Wednesday, Shamkhani emphasized that Iran robustly protects its aerial and maritime borders.
He also described the Iranian FIR (flight information region) as the country’s “redline”, saying, “No matter whose plane trespasses into it (the airspace), we have always given and will give a harsh response to intruders.”
The IRGC Aerospace Force said the ‘Global Hawk’ spy drone took off from a US military base in south of the Persian Gulf at 19:44 GMT on Wednesday (00:14 am local time on Thursday), switched off all of its communication systems, and flew towards the port city of Chabahar via the Strait of Hormuz in maximum stealth.
When flying back to the western part of the region, the unmanned plane violated the Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz and began to spy on Iran and collect information, the statement added.
The IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit shot down the intruding drone in Iran’s airspace at 23:35 GMT, it noted.
The doomed aircraft, an RQ-4C Global Hawk, is one of the world’s most advanced spy drones that costs more than $200 million to build.
The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.
In comments made a few hours after the incident, IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami said the shooting down of the US aircraft had a straightforward message that any foreign intrusion into Iran’s sovereign territories would draw a crushing response.
“The downing of the US drone had an explicit, decisive and clear message that defenders of the Islamic Iran’s borders will show decisive and knockout reactions to aggression against this territory by any alien,” he said.
“Borders are our redline, and any enemy violating these borders will not go back,” the commander underlined.
He also made it clear that Iran is not seeking war with any country but is fully prepared for any confrontation. “Today’s incident was a clear sign of such a precise message.”