Washington • An Iranian attack aircraft fired at least twice at an unarmed U.S. drone conducting routine surveillance in international airspace over the Persian Gulf, the Pentagon said Thursday. The aircraft missed and the drone returned to base unharmed.
The shooting in the Gulf, which occurred just before 5 a.m. EDT on Nov. 1, was unprecedented, Pentagon press secretary George Little said. The incident was not disclosed sooner because the military does not discuss classified surveillance missions, but agreed to answer questions after news reports revealed the shooting.
Little said the drone was about 16 miles off the Iranian coast when the Russian-made SU-25 Frogfoot warplane intercepted it and opened fire. He said it was the first time an unmanned U.S. aircraft was shot at in international airspace over the Gulf.