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Iranian warplanes fired on US drone over Gulf: Pentagon

Published on Nov 9, 2012 6:11 AM
This undated US Air Force photo shows an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft as it prepares for takeoff in support of operations in Southwest Asia. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Iranian warplanes fired at an unarmed United States (US) drone in international airspace last week but did not hit the aircraft, the Pentagon said on Thursday, an unprecedented incident that triggered a sharp warning to Teheran through diplomatic channels.

The Pentagon said the Nov 1 intercept appeared to be the first time Teheran has fired at an unmanned American aircraft, in this case an MQ-1 Predator.

According to details provided by the Pentagon, two Iranian SU-25 Frogfoot aircraft intercepted the American drone at about 4.50am (4.50pm Singapore time) as it conducted a routine, but classified, surveillance mission about 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coast.

Little said the aircraft fired multiple rounds at the Predator drone and followed it for at least several miles as it moved farther away from Iranian airspace.

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