US says it shot down Iranian drone over Iraq

March 17th, 2009 - 12:53 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 16 (DPA) An Iranian drone that wandered deep into Iraqi airspace last month was shot down by American warplanes, a US military spokesman in Baghdad said Monday.
US jet fighters downed the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) on Feb 25 about 100 km northeast of Baghdad, after tracking it for more than one hour and determining it was not a coalition aircraft, the spokesman said.

“This was not an accident on the part of the Iranians,” the spokesman said. “The UAV was in Iraqi airspace for nearly one hour and 10 minutes and well inside Iraqi territory before it was engaged.”

The US pilots were ordered to attack the drone after concluding it would not result in collateral damage, the spokesman said. The military identified the drone as an Iranian-built Ababil 3 model.

US officials for years have been accusing Iran of mingling in Iraq, mainly by providing weapons to Shia militants, a charge Tehran has denied.

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