The USA has warned that it will protect its military assets after Iranian warplanes opened fire on one of its unmanned surveillance planes last week. The aircraft was flying in international airspace over the Persian Gulf at the time.
The unarmed drone was not damaged and returned safely to its base. The US has protested to Iran over the incident.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said:
“The United States has communicated to the Iranians that we will continue to conduct surveillance flights over international waters over the Arabian Gulf, consistent with long-standing practice and our commitment to the security of the region.”
The US says the drone was conducting routine military surveillance 16 nautical miles from Iran when it was intercepted by the warplanes which then opened fire. It regards the attack as attempt to shoot down the aircraft.