Iran shot down a United States spy drone yesterday near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, with the two sides at odds whether it was in Iranian or international airspace, in the latest incident stoking tensions between the arch-foes.
US President Donald Trump immediately reacted, saying Iran made “a very big mistake” by shooting down a U.S. military drone. “Iran made a very big mistake!” Trump said in a Twitter post.
It was unclear how the United States might respond and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said Washington had no appetite for war with Iran.
Upping the ante, Washington said on Monday it would deploy about 1,000 more troops, along with Patriot missiles and manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft, to the Middle East on top of a 1,500-troop increase announced after the May tanker attacks.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said the “US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone” was hit with a missile “after violating Iranian air space” over the waters of Hormozgan province.
The Pentagon confirmed a US surveillance drone was shot down by Iranian forces, but it insisted the unmanned aircraft was in international airspace.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said any use of force by the United States against Iran “would be a disaster for the region.”
The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the downing of the drone was “a clear message” his country will defend its borders.
Iran will “respond to all foreign aggression and our reaction is, and will be, categorical and absolute”, General Hossein Salami said, quoted by Tasnim news agency.
“We declare that we are not looking for war but we are ready to respond to any declaration of war,” he added.