Drone was flying at high altitude in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, located 34km from the Iranian coast when it was shot down by Iranian forces, said Major General Joseph Gkouastela, the commander of the US Air Force (USAF) in the Middle East.
“This dangerous and escalating attack is irresponsible and occurred near the specified air routes between Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Muscat of Oman, possibly endangering the lives of innocent civilians,” said Gkouastela.
As Guateella clarified, drone “Global Hawk” did not violate Iranian airspace “at any time during its mission”. He spoke to reporters via a teleconference from Qatar’s al-Qaeda air base.
“Iranian intelligence that the aircraft was shot down in Iran’s airspace is unequivocally wrong,” he said.
He explained that the missile that shattered the drone was launched from a position near the Iranian city of Geruka.
At the same time, the US government asked the top executives of Congress to the White House for a briefing on developments in Iran following the shooting down of an American drone, said a source who has knowledge of this meeting.