Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran
The deputy commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, said on Sunday that Iran has firm evidence that the U.S. drone, which was recently targeted by Iran, had entered the country's airspace.
Brigadier General Hossein Salami (file photo)
The Pentagon claimed on Thursday that Iranian warplanes fired at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace last week but did not hit the aircraft, according to Reuters.
Salami said, "We are fully aware of international regulations and do not attack any aircraft outside our country's borders."
The aircraft definitely violated the country's airspace, and if it had not done so, Iran would not have attacked it, he added.
The commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said on Sunday that the U.S. drone entered Iran's airspace with the aim of spying and collecting information related to Iranian oil tankers, which were near Kharg Island.
He said, "We gave them (the United States) a warning, and in the event of a repetition, we will make a more serious response."
According to the timeline provided by the Pentagon, two Iranian Sukhoi SU-25 aircraft intercepted the U.S. drone on November 1 at about 4:50 a.m. EST (0850 GMT) as it conducted a routine, but classified, surveillance mission over Persian Gulf waters about 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coast.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said the aircraft fired multiple rounds at the Predator drone and followed it for at least several miles as it moved farther away from Iranian airspace.
International airspace begins after 12 nautical miles and Little claimed the drone at no point entered Iranian airspace.
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