Military and Police

Iran Shot Down an American Drone Over Hormuz Strait

On 20 June, international media sources reported that Iran shot down an American drone that was flying over the Strait of Hormuz, in what the Islamic Republic considered its own territory.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) said the aircraft had violated Iranian airspace, and that the incident sent a “clear message to America.” In comments carried live on Iranian state television, General Hossein Salami also said that Iran does “not have any intention for war with any country, but we are ready for war.” Iran has made veiled threats on U.S. air assets in the recent past. A day earlier, a senior Iranian security official told media sources that Iran would “strongly respond” if its airspace was violated. “Our airspace is our red line and Iran has always responded and will continue to respond strongly to any country that violates our airspace,” the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security council said in an interview with state television.

But the U.S. military insisted the drone had been over international waters at the time. An anonymous U.S. official told the Reuters news agency that the aircraft was shot down in neutral airspace over the Strait of Hormuz —not in Iran’s airspace— by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. The same sources condemned what it called an “unprovoked attack” by the IRGC.

Official government sources have yet to respond to the incident. When asked about the claims that Iran shot down an American drone, Captain Bill Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, declined to comment. However, he did tell reporters that “there was no drone over Iranian territory.”

Hormuz has always been at the center of the schism between the U.S. and Iran. Twenty percent of all world oil exports flow through the narrow waterway. Any disruption —or even news of likely disruption— could significantly influence global oil prices. If the Strait was rendered completely out of use, it could actually cause a major energy crisis in the region and be devastating to the economies of other oil exporters.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Samuel Siskind

Samuel Siskind studied intelligence research at the American Military University in West Virginia. He served as a squad commander in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Corp of Combat Engineers, in the Corps' ground battalions and later in its Intelligence Wing at regional and divisional stations. For the past five years, Samuel has worked as a consultant and researcher on physical and information security issues for private and governmental institutions, in the US, Africa, India, and Israel. He currently lives in Jerusalem.

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