Iran downs unidentified drone that 'infiltrated' near Gulf coast

Iran downs 'foreign' drone over southern port city of Mahshahr

According to a report by ISNA news agency, the Air Force Defense of the Iranian Army shot down an unidentified drone over Bandar-e Mahshahr in the Persian Gulf early on Friday morning. "Its wreckage has been recovered and is being investigated", the governor of Iran's southern Khuzestan province, Gholamreza Shariati, said, as quoted by IRNA.

The army downed the unmanned aircraft over Khuzestan province before dawn using a Mersad surface-to-air missile, reported the Tasnim news agency, which is close to Iran's ultra-conservatives and generally well informed on defence matters.

IRIB, a state broadcaster, aired a short video purporting to show the interception of the drone by an Iranian anti-missile battery.

Iranian media earlier reported that the army had shot down a drone over Mahshahr, without providing further details.

Regional tensions remain high over Tehran's collapsing nuclear deal with world powers, which the USA unilaterally withdrew from over a year ago.

There was no immediate response from Iran's foe Israel.


The semi-official Mehr news agency aired footage it said showed the missile attack that downed "the aggressor drone". Tehran said the drone "violated" its territorial airspace, while the US called the missile fire "an unprovoked attack" in worldwide airspace over the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

Iran's Arabic TV news channel Al-Alam said "residents of Imam Khomeini port city heard the sound of a missile being fired on Friday morning".

Washington said the USA drone had been shot down by Iran in global airspace over the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf.

Neither news agency gave any further details of the incident which comes amid soaring tensions between Tehran and Washington since President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned a landmark 2015 nuclear deal previous year and reimposed crippling sanctions.

Washington said the USA drone had been shot down by Iran in global airspace over the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted in August of possible Israeli involvement in attacks on Iranian-backed militia positions in Iraq.

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