Pentagon Confirms Iran Fired At Unarmed U.S. Drone Over Gulf

Pentagon Confirms Iran Fired At Unarmed U.S. Drone Over GulfIran fired on an unarmed U.S. drone last week as it was hovering in international airspace, the Pentagon announced Thursday.

‘Fired twice’

Spokesman George Little said the incident, which marks the first time the Iranians have fired on a U.S. drone, occurred Nov. 1 at 4:50 a.m. ET. He said the unarmed, unmanned drone was conducting “routine surveillance” over the Persian Gulf when it was “intercepted” by Iran. He said the MQ1 Predator drone, which was not hit, was not in Iranian airspace.

According to Little, two Iranian jets fired twice, missing on both attempts — the drone headed away from the Iranian coast, landing safely soon after at an undisclosed location. The Iranian jets pursued the drone for a short period before giving up.


‘Act of war’

Little said the U.S. government has protested to the Iranians. He would not say whether there were actually plans for a military response. Asked if this should be considered an act of war, Little said he didn’t want to get into “legal characterizations” of the event.  Little stressed that the drone was flying 16 nautical miles off the coast of Kuwait in international waters, and never entered the 12-mile limit that would constitute Iranian territory.

The Pentagon announced the incident as the administration imposed a new round of financial sanctions against Iranian officials and entities. They marked the first sanctions since President Obama’s re-election Tuesday. According to the Treasury Department, the move was “related to the Iranian government’s human rights abuses, its support of terrorism and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

What do you think will be the U.S. government’s specific move regarding this recent drone incident? Share your thoughts and opinions with us!

Source: Fox News

Image: Euro News

U.S. Carrier Passes Through Gulf Without Incident Despite Threats

Flanked by British and French ships as backup, the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier moved through the Strait of Hormuz without incident Sunday despite recent threats from Iran.

The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement that the Lincoln “completed a regular and routine transit of the strait … to conduct maritime security operations.” The Lincoln is in the region with the USS Carl Vinson, giving the U.S. Navy its standard two-carrier presence there.

Several weeks ago, as the USS John Stennis left the Persian Gulf and headed back to the western Pacific, Iranian officials warned the United States not to send in another carrier. Tehran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the only outlet to and from the Persian Gulf between Iran and the United Arab Emirates as well as Oman, as Iran faces increased scrutiny over its nuclear program and possible sanctions on its oil exports. The critical shipping lane had 17 million barrels of oil per day passing through in 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has responded by threatening to “respond” if Iran attempts to shut down traffic. He said that the U.S. naval and military presence in the region will not change and the current level is sufficient to deal with any situation that could arise.

 

Source: CNN

Image: The Telegraph