Iran releases images purporting to show downed U.S. drone
Iran and the U.S. have released separate videos of the downing of an American drone.
Both countries confirmed a drone was shot down over the Strait of Hormuz on June 20, but the location of the drone and the time it was shot down is disputed.
Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif tweeted that the U.S. drone had violated Iranian airspace, while the U.S. insists the unmanned aircraft was in international airspace.
The Iranian video shows rockets launching from an undisclosed location. Nighttime footage then appears to show an explosion in the sky to shouts of “Allahu Akbar,” usually translated from Arabic as “God is (the) greatest.”
The clip was published by Nour News, described as close to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif tweeted that the U.S. drone took off from the United Arab Emirates in stealth mode.
“It was targeted at 04:05 at the coordinates (25°59'43"N 57°02'25"E) near Kouh-e Mobarak,” he wrote.
“We've retrieved sections of the U.S. military drone in our territorial waters where it was shot down.”
Iran’s state news agency IRIB News and IRNA, the Islamic Republic News Agency, have released video and images that claim to show debris of the drone, an RQ-4 Global Hawk.
According to content agency Storyful, parts seen in the video show serial numbers matching components made by Northrop Grumman, manufacturer of the downed Hawk.
U.S. Central Command, part of the Department of Defense, also released a video claiming to show smoke from the drone shot down by Iran.
The footage appears to show smoke trails in the sky.
"U.S. Central Command can confirm that a U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (or BAMS-D) ISR aircraft was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 11:35 p.m. GMT on June 19, 2019,” U.S. Central Command spokesman navy Capt. Bill Urban, said in a statement.
“Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false. This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace.
“The BAMS-D is a RQ-4A Global Hawk High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions."
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that Iran had made a “very bad mistake” in shooting down the drone.
A New York Times report, citing administration officials, said Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation, but stopped short of ordering them.
“On Monday they (Iran) shot down an unmanned drone flying in international waters,” Trump tweeted.
“We were cocked and loaded to retaliate last night on three different sights when I asked, how many will die. One hundred and fifty people, sir, was the answer from a General.
“Ten minutes before the strike I stopped it.”
President Trump added that the response would not have been proportionate to downing an unmanned drone.