CNN reports two Iranian fighter jets fired at an unmanned U.S. Predator drone last week in international airspace, according to the Pentagon:
BARBARA STARR: New military tensions now with Iran. CNN has learned it was last Thursday, just one week ago, that two Iranian SU-25–old Russian fighter jets the Iranians operate–flew out in to the Persian Gulf into international air space and fired on a U.S. Air Force predator drone, an unmanned drone in international air space, that the Pentagon insists was conducting routine, although classified, maritime surveillance. The Iranian aircraft fired continuously; they did not hit the drone; the drone was able to return to base in that region. But this does raise some serious new tensions with Iran. It was, of course, just a few days before the presidential election here in the United States. Officials that we have talked to who are confirming it after we questioned them say they just don’t know at this point what the Iranians were up to. Were they just out to cause trouble or were they really trying to bring down that U.S. drone, Brooke.
BROOK BALDWIN: this is clearly raising tensions as you point out. Could this be considered an act of war?
STARR: Well, it’s an interesting question, I suppose for the Pentagon lawyers. The thing is, you know, they fired–the U.S. believes, we’re told–in an unprovoked fashion. They say that the drone was in international air space about 16 miles off the Iranian coast in the northern end of the Gulf, and that it was completely unprovoked and without warning. The Pentagon, through the State Department, has protested to the Iranian government. The Pentagon says they haven’t heard back from Tehran.