The United States has denied reports that Iran “caught” and landed a small U.S. drone flying over the Persian Gulf. The unarmed drone, called a ScanEagle, was flying in Iranian airspace when it was brought down by the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s FARS news agency reported today.
But the U.S. Navy says it did not lose the drone, adding that the ScanEagle is an “off the shelf variety” and could have belonged to another country.
“The U.S. Navy has complete control over every unmanned vehicle we operate in the Middle East,” said Cmd. Jason Salata of the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, which manages naval assets in the region. “We have lost ScanEagles in the past, but not recently.”
The commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, told Iranian media that the drone had been conducting reconnaissance flights in the past few days when it was spotted and “hunted.” Fadavi also boasted of Iran’s “full intelligence supremacy” over foreign operations in the region, FARS reported.
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