Two Iranian fighter jets pursued and fired at a U.S. predator drone on Nov. 1, but failed to take it down, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday. The unmanned surveillance aircraft returned to base unharmed, a Defense Department spokesman said.
The drone was in international airspace, about 16 miles off the coast of Iran, Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters Thursday. Iranian airspace extends only 12 miles off its coastline.
The drone was on a routine surveillance flight and had never entered Iranian airspace, he said. The Iranian aircraft fired upon the drone at least twice, Mr. Little said.
President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta were notified early in the morning on the day of the attack.
The United States told Iran that it will continue surveillance flights in international waters, in a message delivered to the Iranian government through Swiss diplomats who represent U.S. interests in Iran, Mr. Little said.
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Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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