A senior Iranian military commander has threatened more shoot-downs of U.S. surveillance drones in the Persian Gulf region.
Commander of the Islamic Republic Army’s Navy Hossein Khanzadi is quoted by IRGC controlled Fars News Agency as saying, “The enemy dispatched one of the most advanced, intelligent and complex drones to the forbidden area and everyone witnessed its shoot-down. We dare to say this crushing blow can be alternatively repeated and the enemy knows it”.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards shot down a U.S. drone on June 20 over the Strait of Hormuz claiming it had violated Iranian airspace. The pentagon and U.S. officials vehemently disputed that claim, insisting the drone was flying in international airspace.
Both Iran’s army and the Revolutionary Guards have their own naval forces, although the Guards always have the larger budget and superior weapons.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a tweet June 23 claimed that in an earlier incident a U.S. drone had also violated Iranian airspace on May 26 but did not say if Iran took any action.
Earlier, the U.S. Central Command disclosed last week that Iran had fired a missile at a U.S. drone flying over a tanker that was attacked in the Gulf of Oman, but the missile missed the aircraft.