Monday, Feb 17 2020 | Time 06:24 Hrs(IST)
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World


Iran guns down 'foreign' drone

Tehran, Nov 8 (UNI) An unidentified drone, which was earlier speculated to be downed by Iran, was shot down by Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defence Force (IRIAF) on Friday morning over its Southern port city of Mahshar, nearby country’s major petrochemical plants.
Fars news agency reported that the Air Defence Force of the Iran Army shot down an unidentified drone over Bandar-e Mahshahr in the Persian Gulf early morning.
No further details have been disclosed yet.
The Pentagon, however, denied reports that a US drone was shot down by Iranian defence forces in the province of Khuzestan, saying all American military equipment in the area is accounted for.
"Alleged reports of a US drone being shot down are incorrect," US Central Command (CENTCOM) wrote on Twitter. "If an Unmanned Aircraft System {UAS) had gone down in the CENTCOM [area] it was not a DoD asset. All US equipment has been accounted for."
On June 20, the IRGC Aerospace Force shot down an American spy drone over the territorial waters of Iran near the Strait of Hormuz at dawn on June 20.
After the incident, US President Donald Trump said the US air force was “cocked and loaded” to attack three Iran targets, but he called off the strike with 10 minutes to spare after being told that the airstrike might kill as many as 150 people.
Trump said in a series of tweets that he decided that the death toll was not a proportionate response to the Iran shooting down of a US spy drone off the Iran coast.
After Trump's remarks, Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that his forces could have shot down a US P8 aircraft with 35 on board which was violating Iran’s airspace, but decided to shoot down the drone to only send a message to Washington.
"We intended to send a message to American terrorists in the region," Brigadier General Hajizadeh said, adding that his forces had also traced a military P8 aircraft violating the airspace of Iran.
"Along with the American drone was an American P8 aircraft with 35 on board, and it was also violating our airspace and we could have downed it too," he said, adding, "But we did not do (shoot down) it, because our aim was to warn the terrorist forces of the US."
General Hajizadeh also stressed that Iran was not after war but was fully ready to defend itself, adding that the fate of the downed US spy drone was waiting for any intruding flying object.
"Our response to anything trespassing Iranian territory is like this, and if such acts of aggression are repeated, our response will also be the same," General Hajizadeh said.
"We don’t embrace war but we are ready to fully defend the country," he said.
"We possess a collection of US drones which is a proof that US has violated Iran’s airspace and shows that they don’t want to respect the international law," General Hajizadeh said.
"If such an aggression is repeated, we will add other US (military) products to complete this collection," he noted.
"The US measure was in violation of international law and we acted according to our legitimate responsibility," General Hajizadeh said, adding, "It is possible that a US general or some operators were behind this American aggression, we don’t know that. But that measure (intruding into Iranian airspace) is a violation of international aviation rules by a spy drone which then received our natural response."
UNI RHK TV 1933
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