Tags: iran | drone | strike | gulf

Report: Iranian Fighter Jets Fire on US Drone in Persian Gulf

Thursday, 08 Nov 2012 03:46 PM

By Todd Beamon

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In a sign that Iran is becoming more aggressive in the Persian Gulf, two Iranian Su-25 fighter jets fired on an unarmed U.S. Air Force Predator drone in the gulf last week, U.S. officials said.

The officials told CNN that the drone was in international airspace east of Kuwait. It was involved in routine maritime surveillance.

The incident occurred on Nov. 1 — just days before the presidential election — but the Obama White House did not disclose the incident. Three senior officials have confirmed the details to CNN.

The officials declined to be identified because it involved sensitive intelligence issues, CNN reports.

The Iranian jets were part of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has been more confrontational than regular Iranian military forces, CNN reports.

The drone's still and video cameras showed two Su-25s approaching the Predator and firing its onboard guns.

The Iranian pilots continued firing shots that went beneath the Predator but were never successful in hitting it, the officials said.

U.S. military intelligence analysts were not sure if the Iranian pilots were unable to hit the drone due to lack of combat skill, or whether they deliberately were missing and had no intention of bringing down the drone.

"It doesn't matter,” one official told CNN. “They fired on us."

The United States has protested the incident but has not yet heard back from Iran, CNN reports.

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