Iran state media reported on Tuesday that the country’s Revolutionary Guard captured a US drone after it allegedly entered into Iranian airspace around the Persian Gulf. The US Navy is denying the report.
According to the reports, which quoted the Revolutinoary Guard’s navy chief, General Ali Fadavi, the Iranian government captured a drone which it identified as a ScanEagle. The reports said that the drone, which is built by Boeing, was allegedly launched from an aircraft carrier.
“The US drone, which was conducting a reconnaissance flight and gathering data over the Persian Gulf in the past few days, was captured by the Guard’s navy air defense unit as soon as it entered Iranian airspace,” Fadavi said. “Such drones usually take off from large warships.”
However, a spokesman for the United States Navy denied the reports, telling Reuters that no American drones have been reported missing.
“The U.S. Navy has fully accounted for all unmanned air vehicles (UAV) operating in the Middle East region. Our operations in the Gulf are confined to internationally recognized water and air space,” a spokesman for US Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain said. “We have no record that we have lost any ScanEagles recently.”
The spokesman did admit, however, that, in the past, some drones had been lost in the sea, but none of them recent enough to account for Iran’s claims. Regardless, the US Navy said that it will be looking into it.
This is the second time in under a few months that the Iranian government have claimed to shoot down a US drone. Last month, the US military confirmed that a drone was shot down in “international airspace.” Iran claims that the drone was in Iranian airspace.