– Iran claimed Tuesday it had captured a U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf. Iran has an image of a purportedly downed aircraft on state TV but the U.S. Navy said all its unmanned aircraft in the region were fully accounted for.
The U.S. Navy has fully accounted for all unmanned air vehicles operating in the Middle East region at this point in time, The operations in the Gulf are confined to internationally recognized waters and airspace said a Navy spokesman.
The Navy has flown the Boeing designed ScanEagle drones over the Gulf for years, and that they do occasionally lose one in the water, but he said there was no indication the US Navy has lost one recently.
The drone claimed by Iran could have been plucked from the sea in the past and unveiled for maximum effect following escalating tensions over U.S. surveillance missions in the Gulf.
Other countries in the region, such as the United Arab Emirates, also have ScanEagle drones in their fleets, and the possibility that the drone was being operated by a U.S. entity other than the US Navy was possible.