According to Mikrofonnews Agency (MHA), U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Iran made a big mistake after it had shot down an American drone.
“Iran made a very big mistake!” Trump tweeted.
Earlier on Thursday, Tehran announced that it shot down a U.S. military drone.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed that a “Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (or BAMS-D) ISR aircraft was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.”
The attack took place at around 3 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday.
The BAMS-D aircraft was a RQ-4A Global Hawk, a high-altitude unmanned aircraft used for reconnaissance purposes by the Navy.
“Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false,” CENTCOM spokesman Navy Capt. Bill Urban said in a statement. “This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace.”
The confirmation comes amid growing hostility in the Gulf region between Washington and Tehran.
Tensions have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since last year, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
The U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to ramp up pressure on Iran to force it to renegotiate the agreement, and other behavior not covered by the original pact that the administration views as destabilizing behavior.
Part of its campaign has included the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on exports of Iranian crude oil, which has sent the Iranian economy into a nosedive.
The U.S. has also increased its military presence in the Middle East, deploying a carrier strike force, bomber task force, and Patriot missile battery and using threats from Iran as justification for the actions.
On Monday, the Trump administration announced it would be sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East, citing increased threats from Iran.