Iran Could Hit Second US Plane but Chose Not to Do So: Commander
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said along with a US spy drone that was shot down over the Iranian territorial waters, there was an aircraft with 35 crew members that Iran chose not to hit it.
An American military plane called P8 was flying close to the downed US drone, Brigadier General Hajizadeh told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to display the wreckage of the US stealth drone on Friday.
“The plane had also violated our airspace and we could target it but we did not do so because our goal behind downing the American drone was to warn the terrorist forces of the US,” the commander stated.
Earlier, Hajizadeh told the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) that the downed drone is further proof of “the US regime’s aggression”.
The commander also gave some details about the operation to shoot down the US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), saying the Iranian Army’s air defense forces gave the last warning to the UAV at 3:55 a.m. (local time) and 10 minutes later, at 4:05 a.m., it was targeted and shot down.
Some parts of the drone’s wreckage had spread over the waters off the coasts of Kooh-e-Mobarak and some of its heavy parts sank into the sea, he noted.
The IRGC said on Thursday that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of the day was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.
The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.
In comments made a few hours after the incident, IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami said the shooting down of the US aircraft had a straightforward message that any foreign intrusion into Iran’s sovereign territories would draw a crushing response.
“The downing of the US drone had an explicit, decisive and clear message that defenders of the Islamic Iran’s borders will show decisive and knockout reactions to aggression against this territory by any alien,” he said.
“Borders are our redline, and any enemy violating these borders will not go back,” the commander underlined.
He also made it clear that Iran is not seeking war with any country but is fully prepared for any confrontation. “Today’s incident was a clear sign of such a precise message.”
The general also reminded the enemies that the only way for them to remain safe is to respect Iran’s territorial integrity, national security and vital interests.