WASHINGTON DC - The United States military has confirmed a U.S. Navy a Global Hawk drone has been shot down by Iranian forces.
U.S. officials say the pilotless plane was shot down while in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have admitted the attack and said it was intended to send a message.
On their account the plane had ventured into Iranian airspace.
"The downing of the U.S. drone had an explicit, decisive and clear message that defenders of the Islamic Iran's borders will show decisive and knockout reactions to aggression against this territory by any alien," the Commander of the IRGC Major General Hossein Salami said Thursday at a conference in the western province of Kurdistan.
"Borders are our redline, and any enemy violating these borders will not go back," he said.
The commander reiterated Iran was not seeking war with any country but is fully prepared for any confrontation.
"Today's incident was a clear sign of such a precise message," he said.
Earlier on Thursday, the IRGC said in a statement that a U.S. spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of Thursday, was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force's air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.
The incident occurred a day after Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani warned of Tehran's harsh response to any intrusion into its airspace or maritime borders, according to the Tasnim News Agency.
He also described the Iranian FIR (flight information region) as the country's "redline", saying, "no matter whose plane trespasses into it (the airspace), we have always given and will give a harsh response to intruders," he said on the sidelines of the 10th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues in Russia's Ufa on Wednesday.
(Photo credit: U.S. Navy).
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