“Iran shoots down US drone,” that’s the headline dominating social media Thursday.
Amid heightened tensions with the United States, a U.S. Navy MQ-4C high-altitude drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile Wednesday evening over the Strait of Hormuz in international airspace.
A commander for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the shooting sends “a clear message” to the U.S. He said while Iran has no intention of war with anyone, it’s “ready for war.”
The shootdown of the RQ-4 Global Hawk comes after the U.S. military previously alleged Iran fired a missile at another drone last week that responded to the attack on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. blames Iran for the attack on the ships; Tehran has denied the allegations.
Iran recently has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium and threatened to boost its enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels, trying to pressure Europe for new terms to the 2015 nuclear deal.
In recent weeks, the U.S. has sped an aircraft carrier to the Mideast and approved sending approximately 1,000 additional troops “to address air, naval, and ground-based threats” in the region. Mysterious attacks also have targeted oil tankers as Iranian-allied Houthi rebels launched bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.