Iran downs 'unknown' drone over Persian Gulf port

Joanna Estrada
November 8, 2019

Iranian forces shot down a drone belonging to a foreign country on Friday, state news agency IRNA reported, quoting an Iranian official.

Provincial governor Gholamreza Shariati told IRNA that the drone belonged to a "foreign" country and that parts of it had been recovered in a nearby lagoon.

He said the drone violated Iran's airspace but did not provide any additional information, including whether it was a military or civilian drone.

Earlier, semiofficial Tasnim news agency reported that the unmanned aircraft was downed over Iranian territory with a domestically manufactured Mersad surface-to-air missile.

A USA military official told Fox News on Friday that all American drones are accounted for and none have been shot down.

Relations between Iran and the United States have worsened since past year when President Donald Trump pulled out of Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions on the country. Tehran said the drone "violated" its territorial airspace, while the USA called the missile fire "an unprovoked attack" in global airspace over the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

The crisis deepened with the September 14 attacks on Saudi energy giant Aramco's Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oilfield which halved the kingdom's crude output.

Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels claimed responsibility, but the USA says the attacks involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounted to "an act of war".

Since May, the United States has increased its 70,000-strong presence in the Middle East by 14,000 personnel, according to Pentagon figures, a lot of them deployed to the Gulf region.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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