Two Iranian Su-25 fighter jets were caught on video firing on an unarmed US Air Force Predator drone as it crossed the Persian Gulf last week.
The jets were caught on the drone’s camera using stills and video as they fired at it multiple times on November 1, reports CNN. The incident raises fresh concerns within the US government about Iran’s military aggression in the Gulf oil shipping lanes, a crucial place for international trade.
US officials have said that the drone was in international airspace east of Kuwait performing a routine maritime surveillance when the incident occurred.
While the drone was not hit by the Iranian fighter jets, the incident is still of concern to the Pentagon. Two US officials, who declined to be identified, explained that the Iranian jets were part of the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps force, which has become more confrontational than the regular Iranian military forces.
The drone’s still and video cameras captured the incident as the two Su-25s approached the Predator and fired their on-board guns. The pilots fired shots for a while that went underneath the drone, but they were never successful in hitting it.
The Pentagon confirmed the incident occurred and spokesman George Little confirmed the incident, saying the drone was not downed and was over international waters at the time, notes CBS News.
Little added that this is the first time an unmanned US aircraft was shot at in international airspace over the Gulf. He added that the US has informed Iran they will continue to conduct surveillance flights in the area in international airspace.
Iran has been incredibly protective of the Gulf region ever since tensions between them and the United States began. They have already warned the US not to send military ships to the Persian Gulf, which is a crucial body of water for the world’s oil shipping routes. The US has ignored the warning.
The reports on the Iranian fighter jets firing on an unmanned US drone come as Iran announced they will be holding “massive” air defense maneuvers in the east beginning this weekend.