Iranian fighter jets fire on US drone but missed

The Pentagon disclosed today that an unarmed U.S. military Predator surveillance drone was fired at by Iranian military jets last week in international airspace over the waters of the Persian Gulf.

Officials stressed that the U.S. drone had never entered Iranian territory and that the entire incident occurred in international airspace. The drone was not hit by the plane’s gunfire and was able to return to its undisclosed base in the region.

At a Pentagon briefing, spokesman George Little told reporters that the incident had occurred last Thursday at approximately 4:50 a.m. Eastern Time when an unarmed Predator drone “conducting routine surveillance” over the Gulf “was intercepted by Iranian Su-25 Frogfoot aircraft and was fired upon with guns.”

The incident occurred 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coastline, said Little. The internationally recognized territorial limit of waters and airspace begins 12 nautical miles from a nation’s coastline. Though Little did not disclose where the incident occurred a Defense official told ABC News that it occurred in the northern part of the Persian Gulf east of Kuwait.

The White House and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta were informed of the incident as quickly as it happened, as were relevant members of Congress. The incident was not disclosed until today when CNN was first to reveal the details of the incident. Little said that the Pentagon does not talk about classified missions like the one the Predator was undertaking, but decided to go public with details following “the unauthorized leak.”

Little said that the United States communicated to Iran via Swiss intermediaries that “we will continue to conduct surveillance flights over international waters over the Arabian Gulf consistent with long-standing practice.”

Little described last Thursday’s incident as the first time that an unmanned American aircraft has been shot at over the international waters of the Persian Gulf.

When asked if the United States considered the shooting an “act of war”, Little said he was “not going to get into legal labels.” He added, “The reality is that we have a wide range of options, as I said before, to protect our assets and our forces in the region and will do so when necessary.” He later acknowledged that no manned American aircraft had responded to the incident.

The spokesman said that Iranian SU-25 “Frogfoot” aircraft intercepted the drone in international waters and then fired at it with machine guns. The shots missed and the drone moved beyond the 16 nautical-mile range and it was fired upon again though the shots once again missed. At that point “the Iranian aircraft continued to pursue the MQ-1 for some period of time before letting it return to base.” Little believed that the Iranian jets tailed the drone for at least “several miles.”

When asked if the Iranian misses may have been “warning shots,” Little replied, “Our working assumption is that they fired to take it down. You’ll have to ask the Iranians why they engaged in this action.”

“We believe that they fired at least twice,” he added, “and made at least two passes.” A Defense official told ABC News that the approaching Iranian aircraft were spotted by one of the cameras aboard the drone. After the first strafing run the official says the Iranian aircraft made a circular pass around the drone to get in position for another strafing run.

Little said that the Pentagon had not disclosed the incident until today’s CNN report because it doesn’t talk about classified surveillance mission undertaken by drones. “There is absolutely no precedence for this, so this is the first time that a UAV has been fired upon, to our knowledge, by Iranian aircraft. So I wouldn’t draw any parallels between this and past incidents. We routinely do not advertise our classified surveillance missions.”

Little downplayed the idea that the White House might have asked the Pentagon to not talk about the incident for political reasons given it occurred so close to the upcoming election. “We don’t typically comment on classified surveillance missions,” he said. “And I’m not going to get into discussions at the classified level that occurred between this department and the White House. They were informed early on.”

An unmanned RQ-170 surveillance drone crashed in Iran last December. At the time Iran claimed that it had been shot down, but U.S. officials said a technical malfunction had brought the aircraft down while conducting a secret surveillance mission over Iran for the CIA.

  • Btru2u

    US DRONES DO NOT TRAVEL OUTSIDE INTERNATIONAL WATERS. WHO IS GOING TO ARGUE WITH THAT EH!!!

  • Btru2u

    US DRONES DO NOT TRAVEL OUTSIDE INTERNATIONAL WATERS. WHO IS GOING TO ARGUE WITH THAT EH!!!

  • Btru2u

    Back of America, the sunnis and the shia do not need your interference. This matter is for us to settle then we will deal with you.

    • Hannibal

      LOL
      1. The Shia – Sunni war is a perpetual war… 100 years plus anybody?
      2. We (assuming muslims? Arabs? Turks? Pakistanis? Shitheads?) will deal with America? Which? The U.S. with thousands of MOAB and 3000 nukes? Go ahead make my day…

      • tayyyyar10452

        forgive them father for they do not know what they are doing; lol; they do not know that by presumably fighting america, their bosses are either knowingly or unknowingly serving america

  • Btru2u

    Back of America, the sunnis and the shia do not need your interference. This matter is for us to settle then we will deal with you.

    • Hannibal

      LOL
      1. The Shia – Sunni war is a perpetual war… 100 years plus anybody?
      2. We (assuming muslims? Arabs? Turks? Pakistanis? Shitheads?) will deal with America? Which? The U.S. with thousands of MOAB and 3000 nukes? Go ahead make my day…

      • tayyyyar10452

        forgive them father for they do not know what they are doing; lol; they do not know that by presumably fighting america, their bosses are either knowingly or unknowingly serving america

  • yazidi

    fighter jets fire on US drone but missed …ha ha ha what kind of a fighter is that is it a stupid  rassian made fighter …its a fake faqihi impire with a silly weapons with a nifaq target called IRAN 

    • Moe2000

      Did your daddy assir finish fondling you ? Next the Saudi monkey king?

      • tayyyyar10452

        brother, you meant spiritual father; ass ir is an eunuch; he cant have children unless he adopts

      • yazidi

        ha ha ha…. he is your nightmare caused by your(S) black hate and soon this fake nifaq impire will go down the drain…and by the way did u finish your farisi course cause ur going there soon to the mother mot3a land..

        • libnen10452

          libnen10452
          Your comment was deleted for being rude, insulting, abusive, derogatory and defamatory.
          All comments should abide by Ya Libnan policy of respecting the community and refraining from personal attacks and use of inappropriate language .

        • Moe2000

           Your Daddy Assir Shyton went pop pop in Siada :)

      • haririlouti

        haririlouti
        Your comment was deleted for being rude, insulting, abusive, derogatory and defamatory.
        All comments should abide by Ya Libnan policy of respecting the community and refraining from personal attacks and use of inappropriate language .

  • yazidi

    fighter jets fire on US drone but missed …ha ha ha what kind of a fighter is that is it a stupid  rassian made fighter …its a fake faqihi impire with a silly weapons with a nifaq target called IRAN 

    • Moe2000

      Did your daddy assir finish fondling you ? Next the Saudi monkey king?

      • tayyyyar10452

        brother, you meant spiritual father; ass ir is an eunuch; he cant have children unless he adopts

      • yazidi

        ha ha ha…. he is your nightmare caused by your(S) black hate and soon this fake nifaq impire will go down the drain…and by the way did u finish your farisi course cause ur going there soon to the mother mot3a land..

        • libnen10452

          i understand your heartburn: harirism is dead and you are jealous of shia; lol; shissm is the real islam while you are only parasites

        • Moe2000

           Your Daddy Assir Shyton went pop pop in Siada :)

      • haririlouti

        brother ass ir cannot be his father: ass ir is eunuch, aka mokhsi

  • haririlouti

    GUYS, hariri is a saoudi emir; he should not be allowed to have a blog with Lebanon in its title

  • haririlouti

    GUYS, hariri is a saoudi emir; he should not be allowed to have a blog with Lebanon in its title

  • haririlouti

    haririlouti
    Your comment was deleted for being rude, insulting, abusive, derogatory and defamatory.
    All comments should abide by Ya Libnan policy of respecting the community and refraining from personal attacks and use of inappropriate language .

    • haririlouti

      haririlouti
      Your comment was deleted for being rude, insulting, abusive, derogatory and defamatory.
      All comments should abide by Ya Libnan policy of respecting the community and refraining from personal attacks and use of inappropriate language .

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

      “blah blah blah we are 2 inches away from it.”

      We don’t want to know the length of ur genitalia. keep that to yourself thanks.
      Btw is that why you hate the world?

      • haririlouti

        haririlouti
        Your comment was deleted for being rude, insulting, abusive, derogatory and defamatory.
        All comments should abide by Ya Libnan policy of respecting the community and refraining from personal attacks and use of inappropriate language .

  • haririlouti

    for those who said that i cannot shut this blog down: did you notice how the stupid admins of this blog are facilitating my task; we are 2 inches away from it

    • haririlouti

      this blogs funerals is near future; like future movement

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

      “blah blah blah we are 2 inches away from it.”

      We don’t want to know the length of ur genitalia. keep that to yourself thanks.
      Btw is that why you hate the world?

      • haririlouti

        cant you salafis think further from genitalia?

  • haririlouti

    haririlouti
    Your comment was deleted for being rude, insulting, abusive, derogatory and defamatory.
    All comments should abide by Ya Libnan policy of respecting the community and refraining from personal attacks and use of inappropriate language .

  • haririlouti

    this blogs funerals is near future; like future movement