Iran shot down a US drone with a surface-to-air missile, raising fears that a major military confrontation could erupt between Tehran and Washington in the Gulf.
While the elite Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) force said the American aircraft was brought down after flying into Iranian airspace, US officials said the drone was in international territory at the time.
The different accounts couldn’t be immediately reconciled.
“The US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down” in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan, the force’s website said. “It was shot down when it entered Iran’s airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in the south.”
Thursday’s incident marks the first direct Iranian-claimed attack on US assets amid the escalating crisis after the US imposed punishing sanctions on Tehran earlier this year and increased military forces in the Gulf.