Iran said it warned off two US drones during military exercises that were held from Sunday to early Tuesday. The drills, known as the Zolfaghar 1400, were held in the Strait of Hormuz, the northern tip of the Indian Ocean, and parts of the Red Sea, according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency.
Iran didn’t specify where it intercepted the US drones but did identify them as one MQ-9 Reaper Drone and one RQ-4 Global Hawk. “These aircraft changed their route after approaching the borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran following the air defense’s interception and decisive warning,” Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB said in a report on the incident.
The US military is very active in waters near Iran, leading to dangerous confrontations between the two countries’ militaries. In June 2019, Iran shot down a US drone that was over the Strait of Hormuz. Tehran said the drone violated Iranian airspace, something the US denied. The incident led to the US drawing up plans to bomb Iran, but the airstrikes were reversed last minute by President Trump.
Earlier this year, there were two incidents where US Coast Guard and Navy vessels fired warning shots on Iranian boats in the Strait of Hormuz. Last week, the US and Iran gave conflicting accounts of a confrontation in the Gulf of Oman. Iran said it stopped the US Navy from stealing an Iranian tanker while the US accused Tehran of seizing a Vietnamese tanker.