Iran reportedly shot down an unmanned U.S. drone Thursday, the latest move amid escalating tensions between the United States and the Middle Eastern nation.
Though both countries agree that Iran did the deed, the circumstances surrounding the drone’s destruction have been met with conflicting reports from both the U.S. and Iranian governments. So, what do we currently know?
On one side of the heated argument, the Iranian government claims the drone they shot down was a RQ-4A BAMS-D, a U.S. Navy Global Hawk variant, which had violated their airspace and entered the country’s territory. While CNN initially reported that a U.S. official had told them the drone shot down was actually an MQ-4C Triton, that was later retracted, with U.S. officials agreeing the drone was indeed an RQ-4A BAMS-D.
In a statement on the destruction of the U.S. drone, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) said, “While returning to the western Hormuz Strait's region the drone violated Iran's airspace and engaged in information-gathering and spying. At 4.05 a.m. local time while the violating airplane was over Iranian territory it was shot down by IRGC.”
However, the U.S. government has sharply contradicted the Iranians' claim regarding the drone’s activities, saying the drone was not intruding on Iranian airspace, but was instead shot down while flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
"Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false," said Captain Bill Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesman. "This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace."
A military source told Fox News that the drone was roughly 17 miles away from Iran when it was shot down.
As of the writing of this blog, President Trump's only statement on the matter has been a tweet that merely read: "Iran made a very big mistake!"
Iran made a very big mistake!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2019
Now, the world holds its breath as it awaits a U.S. response.