Iran Shoots Down US Drone, Says Its 'Ready for War'

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Posted: Jun 20, 2019 5:45 AM
Iran Shoots Down US Drone, Says Its 'Ready for War'

Source: Bob Brown/Northrop Grumman Corporation via AP

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, escalating already heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The location of where the drone was shot down is being disputed, with U.S. officials telling the Associated Press the drone was in international airspace while Iran is saying the drone had entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran’s Hormozgan province. 

According to AP, the Iranians shot the drone down with a surface-to-air missile.

Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami said Iran is ready for war. 

"Shooting down the American spy drone had a clear, decisive, firm and accurate message," he said. "The message is that the guardians of the borders of Islamic Iran will decisively respond to the violation of any stranger to this land. The only solution for the enemies is to respect the territorial integrity and national interests of Iran."

He continued: “We do not intend to engage in war with any country, but we are completely ready for the war. Today’s incident is a clear sign of this accurate message." 

“Borders are our red line,” Salami continued. “Any enemy that violates the borders will be annihilated.”

Thursday's incident was the second time in recent days that the Iranians have targeted U.S. drones.

Last week, Iran attempted to shoot down a U.S. drone that was surveilling one of the tankers in the Gulf of Oman that had been attacked. 

"According to our assessment, a modified Iranian SA-7 surface-to-air missile attempted to shoot down a U.S. MQ-9, at 6:45 a.m. local time, June 13, over the Gulf of Oman, to disrupt surveillance of the IRGC attack on the M/T Kokuka Courageous," CENTCOM spokesperson Lt. Col. Earl Brown told ABC News in a statement. 

"Subsequent analysis indicates that this was a likely attempt to shoot down or otherwise disrupt the MQ-9 surveillance of the IRGC attack on the M/T Kokuka Courageous," he added.