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Iran shoots downs 'foreign drone' near Gulf coast

Iran said the drone violated its airspace. [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 November, 2019

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Iranian air defence forces hit the drone in the early morning at the port city of Mahshahr, which is in the oil-rich Khuzestan province and lies on the Persian Gulf.

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Iran, drone, Gulf

Iran's air defence force has shot down an "unknown" drone in the country's southwest, the official IRNA news agency reported on Friday.

The agency said that Iranian air defence forces hit the drone in the early morning at the port city of Mahshahr, which is in the oil-rich Khuzestan province and lies on the Persian Gulf.

The report did not say whether the drone was a military or commercially available device.

Provincial governor Gholamreza Shariati told IRNA that the drone belonged to a "foreign" country and that parts of it had been recovered in a nearby lagoon.

Shariati said the drone violated Iran's airspace.

Later on Friday the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Gen. Alireza Sabahifard, chief of the army's air defence, as saying the drone was destroyed before reaching "sensitive" centres of the country. He confirmed that the drone was foreign but did not elaborate.

The agency also ran a short video purporting to show a missile launched in the early morning that it said hit the drone.

The United States Central Command said later on Friday that the downed drone was not one of theirs.

"Alleged reports of a US drone being shot down are incorrect. If a UAS had gone down in the CENTCOM AOR it was not a DoD asset," US Central Command wrote on Twitter.

In June, Iran shot down a US surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz. Tehran said the drone "violated" its territorial airspace, while the US called the missile fire "an unprovoked attack" in international airspace over the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

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

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