President Donald Trump was meeting with his top national security advisers late Thursday morning after Iran, in a major provocation, shot down what the U.S. military said was an unarmed and unmanned U.S. RQ-4A Global Hawk drone flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran made a very big mistake!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2019
A U.S. official confirmed to ABC News that the U.S. Navy was were working to recover the drone in a debris field the official said was located in international waters near the Strait of Hormuz.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that at least 20 of the top lawmakers on Capitol Hill were invited to attend the exclusive briefing.
“I think it's a dangerous situation,” Pelosi said. “We have to be strong and strategic about how we protect our interests. We also cannot be reckless in what we do. So, it would be interesting to see what they have to say, whether the - I don't think the President wants to go to war. there's no appetite for going to war in our country.”
Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, offered a strongly worded threat to the U.S. after the drone was downed.
"Shooting down the American spy drone had a clear, decisive, firm and accurate message," he said, translated from Farsi.
"The message is that the guardians of the borders of Islamic Iran will decisively respond to the violation of any stranger to this land. The only solution for the enemies is to respect the territorial integrity and national interests of Iran."
"We do not intend to engage in war with any country, but we are completely ready for the war. Today’s incident is a clear sign of this accurate message," Salami added.
Earlier, Iranian state media had quoted Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as saying it had downed the drone when it entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district north of the Strait of Hormuz.
"Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false," said CENTCOM spokesperson Navy Capt. Bill Urban in a statement on Thursday morning. "This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace."
Urban said the RQ-4A Global Hawk, which "provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions," was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 11:35 p.m. GMT on June 19.
The incident is not the first time in recent days that Iran has targeted an American drone off its coast.
Last Thursday, Iran attempted to shoot down an MQ-9 Reaper that was surveilling the attack on one of two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The United States has blamed Iran for being responsible for the attacks on the two tankers -- a claim Iran has denied.
"According to our assessment, a modified Iranian SA-7 surface-to-air missile attempted to shoot down a U.S. MQ-9, at 6:45 a.m. local time, June 13, over the Gulf of Oman, to disrupt surveillance of the IRGC attack on the M/T Kokuka Courageous," CENTCOM spokesperson Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement to ABC News on Saturday.
The incident comes at a time of escalating tension between the two countries.On Monday, the US defence department said it was deploying 1,000 extra troops to the region in response to "hostile behaviour" by Iranian forces. It has already sent an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers.
Like us to see More News