A US military drone has been shot down by Iran while in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said it shot down the drone over Iranian airspace, near Kuhmobarak in the southern province of Hormozgan.
According to Iran’s state news agency IRNA, Maj-Gen Hossein Salami, commander of the IRGC said the incident sent “a clear message to America”.
The drone was identified by the IRGC as a RQ-4 Global Hawk, but a US military official told Reuters news agency that the drone was a US Navy MQ-4C Triton.
This further raises fears that a major military confrontation could erupt between Tehran and Washington.
On Monday, the US defence department said it was deploying 1,000 extra troops to the region in response to “hostile behaviour” by Iranian forces. However, Trump said he does not seek war with Iran.
The US has also accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers with mines last Thursday just outside the Strait of Hormuz, in the Gulf of Oman, although Iran denies the allegation.
In response, Iran said it would surpass its stockpile of low-enriched uranium beginning from next week unless other European signatories to the nuclear deal protected its economy from the U.S. sanctions within 60 days.