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Iran fires on US drone

Two Iranian fighter jets fired on an unarmed US drone in the Gulf last week and missed, the Pentagon said yesterday, warning that the US stood ready to protect its forces in the region.

The incident occurred on November 1 – less than a week before America’s presidential election – but the Pentagon kept it quiet until now.

“They intercepted the aircraft and fired multiple rounds,” spokesman George Little told a news conference.

The confrontation threatened to ignite a potential conflict between the arch-foes amid a mounting crisis over Tehran’s nuclear programme and a shadow war marked by cyberattacks and assassinations in Iran.

Tough new sanctions led by the US are squeezing Iran’s economy while Washington is accused of staging cyber sabotage on Tehran’s uranium enrichment plants.

The US military drone was “never in Iranian air space” and came under fire from Su-25 fighters off the Iranian coast over international waters, Little said. (AFP)

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