Pentagon calls Iran’s shoot-down of drone an ‘unprovoked attack’

By Mark Moore
Source: New York Post
Getty Images/iStockphoto


The US military on Thursday said Iran carried out an “unprovoked attack” on a surveillance drone that was flying in international airspace.

“This was an unprovoked attack on a US surveillance asset that had not violated Iranian airspace at any time during its mission,” Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, the commander of US Air Forces Central Command in Qatar, said at a Pentagon briefing.

He did not elaborate and took no questions.

Guastella acknowledged that a surface-to-air missile downed the RQ-4 Global Hawk and said the rocket had been fired from Iran.

“The aircraft was over the Strait of Hormuz and fell into international waters,” Guastella said, adding that the drone was flying at a high altitude and at least 21 miles away from the Iranian coastline.

He accused Tehran of trying to disrupt the US military’s ability to monitor the area to secure the “free flow of commerce” following the attack law week on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

“This dangerous and escalatory attack was irresponsible and occurred in the vicinity of air corridors … possibly endangering innocent civilians,” he said.

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