Iranian Jet Fires on Predator

An Iranian Su-25 fighter last week shot at an unarmed MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft flying over the international waters of the Arabian Gulf, but did not succeed in hitting the US platform, confirmed Pentagon Press Secretary George Little on Nov. 8. “The incident occurred over international waters approximately 16 nautical miles off of the Iranian coastline” on Nov. 1, said Little. The MQ-1 was “conducting routine surveillance,” he said. It “was not hit and returned to its base safely,” he noted. The Iranian aircraft fired its guns at the Predator, pursuing it “for some period of time,” said Little. “We believe they fired at least twice and made at least two passes,” he said. Little emphasized that the Predator “was never in Iranian airspace.” Pentagon officials believe that this was the first time that someone fired upon an RPA in the gulf’s international airspace, he noted. The United States communicated to the Iranians through Swiss intermediaries that it “will continue to conduct surveillance flights over international waters,” said Little. This incident follows the Iranian’s recovery of an RQ-170 Sentinel RPA last year inside Iran. (AFPS report by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.)