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Iran: Shooting Down Drone Sends 'Clear Message' to US

General says US drone shot down in Iranian airspace
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2019 3:10 AM CDT
The MQ-4C Triton, an unmanned jet built for U.S. Navy high-altitude maritime surveillance missions approaches the runway at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Kelly Schindler)
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(Newser) – An ominous development in the Middle East: Iran says it shot down an American "spy drone" Thursday, allegedly after the aircraft entered Iranian airspace. Iran's Revolutionary Guard says the drone was shot down over the Kouhmobarak district in the southern province of Hormozgan, near the Strait of Hormuz, the BBC reports. Iranian authorities identified the drone as an RQ-4 Global Hawk, but an American official tells Reuters that it was actually a US Navy MQ-4C Triton. The official says the drone was in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz when it was shot down. Tensions between the US and Iran have been rising after attacks on shipping in the region.

Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of the Revolutionary Guard, said the shooting down of the drone should send "a clear message" to America, the AP reports. In remarks aired live on state television, the general said Iran does "not have any intention for war with any country, but we are ready for war." On Wednesday, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council warned that Iran would not tolerate violations of its airspace, the Guardian reports. "Our airspace is our red line and Iran has always responded and will continue to respond strongly to any country that violates our airspace," the official said. (Read more Iran stories.)

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