Video footage of Iran’s air defenses shooting down a high-altitude US Navy surveillance drone has been posted on social media by the Iranian military.
Iran Military Tube, a YouTube channel that describes itself as the force’s unofficial media center, published a 52-second-long video that seems to show an Iranian missile launcher shooting at an object in the sky, followed by an explosion.
- Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shoots down U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk ‘spy’ drone in Hormozgan Province
- U.S. officials confirm Iranian missile shoots down U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton drone in international airspace
The brief clip, filmed early Thursday morning and set to rousing music, shows a surface-to-air missile launch from an Iranian battery and the explosion of a target in the sky, said to be the ill-fated US spy drone.
The video concludes with a map showing Iranian and international airspace around the Gulf, and the purported flight path of the drone, a US Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk.
Washington maintains that the drone had been in international airspace in the Strait of Hormuz, and never entered Iranian airspace
Neither video definitively clarifies whether the shootdown took place over international waters or within Iranian airspace, which is a point of contention between Washington and Tehran. The Iranian video at least appears to confirm that it was a missile fired from the shore that did it.
President Donald Trump said that the drone attack was a “terrible mistake” by Iran, and reportedly approved plans for a military attack before abruptly pulling out.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) deemed the incident an “unprovoked attack” in a statement on Thursday and denied that the drone was flying over Iranian territory at the time of the strike
“You’ll soon find out,” US President Donald Trump said when asked by a reporter if Washington would respond in kind
Related Article: Trump tweets Iran made a ‘very big mistake’ by shooting down a U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton drone
Tehran maintains the US drone violated its airspace and has vowed to take all necessary precautions to protect itself if attacked.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted out the precise coordinates of where the drone met its demise, well within Iranian territorial waters. He added that sections of the downed US drone had been collected from the ocean.
At 00:14 US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode & violated Iranian airspace. It was targeted at 04:05 at the coordinates (25°59'43"N 57°02'25"E) near Kouh-e Mobarak.
We've retrieved sections of the US military drone in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down. pic.twitter.com/pJ34Tysmsg
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) June 20, 2019
The US Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order prohibiting US operators from flying in Iran-controlled airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman in the wake of the drone attack.