Pentagon confirms that Iran fired upon unmanned drone
Officials stopped short of calling November 1 incident an 'act of war'
U.S. defense officials have confirmed that Iranian fighter jets fired on a U.S. drone over the Persian Gulf on November 1st. Pentagon officials stopped short of calling the incident an act of war. The United States has protested to Iran about the incident, which occurred over international waters.
A military spokesman said U.S. officials have a 'working assumption' that the Iranian jets were not just firing warning shots but fired with the goal of shooting down the drone.
"An unarmed, unmanned MQ 1 US military aircraft conducting routine surveillance over the Arabian Gulf was intercepted by Iranian SU-25 Frogfoot aircraft and was fired upon with guns. The incident occurred over international waters approximately 16 nautical miles [30 kilometers] off the Iranian coastline. The MQ 1 was not hit and returned to its base safely," Little said.
He said the drone was not hit and returned unharmed to its base at an undisclosed location.
A military spokesman said U.S. officials have a "working assumption" that the Iranian jets were not just firing warning shots but fired with the goal of shooting down the drone.
The spokesman said Washington has communicated to Iran that it will continue to conduct drone surveillance flights in international airspace. He added that the United States has a "range of options" to protect its forces in the Middle East.
The United States routinely conducts surveillance missions over to Iran to check on nuclear facilities and other sites.
The event marked the first time Iran has fired on a U.S. drones. Iran claims it shot down an American unmanned aerial vehicle last year over Iranian territory. U.S. officials say that aircraft landed unintentionally.
The president was notified soon after the latest incident. Since confirmation of the incident comes more than week after it happened, reporters asked whether the White House ordered disclosure of it withheld until after last Tuesday's presidential elections had passed.
Little said that the reports were leaked.
"Someone apparently disclosed this in an unauthorized manner, and that's unfortunate," Little said.
Pentagon officials made firm comments to Iran that they are prepared to respond to Iranian aggression. They did not say if they had any plans to retaliate for the incident.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Drone, Iran, act of war, Pentagon, U.S.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- US Supreme Court Accepts Religion Case: Will Legislative Prayer Survive Religious Censorship?
- In the Wake of the Moore Tornado: What Can we Learn from the Disaster?
- Priests for Life: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Most Significant Legislative Step Forward
- Homeless man whose face was eaten away in cannibal attack recovering
- Court sides with Obama, Osama death photos can remain secret - for your own good
- Largest Burmese Python caught in Miami-Dade County
- Supreme Court to decide if prayer before town meeting is permissible
- Two Oklahoma men killed in tornadoes; Kansas, Iowa batten down for severe weather
- All survive terrifying plane 'belly landing' in Newark
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?