Iran refrained from hitting manned US plane accompanying downed drone, IRGC says

Press TV – June 21, 2019

Commander of the Aerospace Division of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Amir Ali Hajizadeh looks at debris from a downed US drone in Tehran on June 21, 2019. Click to enlarge

A senior Iranian military commander says Iran has refrained from shooting down a US plane with 35 people on board that was accompanying an American spy drone which was shot down in the Persian Gulf after intruding into the Iranian airspace.

A P-8A Poseidon flying in front and on the left of the photo, with a Lockheed P-3 Orion. Click to enlarge

“Along with the US drone, there was also an American P-8 plane with 35 people on board,” Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Aerospace Division of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), told reporters on Friday.

“This plane also entered our airspace and we could have targeted it, but we did not because our purpose behind shooting down the American drone was to give a warning to terrorist American forces,” Hajizadeh added.

The IRGC announced on Thursday that its air defense force had shot down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan.

The IRGC said in a statement that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region, which sits in the central district of Jask County, after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.

The IRGC Aerospace Force on Friday released the first photos of the wreckage of the downed US spy drone.

It displayed parts of the doomed drone, refuting earlier claims by the US that the drone was flying over international waters, and had not violated the Iranian airspace.


Commentary – June 21, 2019

So it does indeed seem as if the U.S. drone was downed by an Iranian missile while flying in Iranian airspace. How else would Iran be able to retrieve debris from the downed Global Hawk?
Given that the U.S. drone was probably on a reconnaissance mission, which is a necessary preliminary before any war, Iran was well within its rights in shooting it down.
The U.S. would have done exactly the same had an Iranian military drone entered its airspace.
This may have been what prompted Trump to cancel U.S. air strikes even as the warplanes were in flight.
If the U.S. had retaliated it would have compounded what was already an infringement of international law with an act of war. Trump may have realised that Iran was perfectly within its rights, in the eyes of international courts.
So on the face of it Trump prevented an already dangerous situation from escalating into outright conflict. However, instead of expressing relief at what has happened elements in the U.S. media are doing quite the opposite.
They are calling for Trump to make Iran pay for shooting down the U.S. drone
US should attack Iran militarily to retaliate for downing of American drone – Jim Hanson
Mikhael Smits, David Adesnik: Drone attack – Iran needs to know it will pay a price for its risky provocations – Mikhael Smits, David Adesnih – Fox News
To Avoid a Wider War. Iran must be Deterred with Limited U.S. Military Strikes
Of course none of these warmongers will likely never see the full horror of war. Instead some lowly, lesser-paid grunt will do that for them.
However, this isn’t the first time Iran has downed a U.S. drone in its airspace. The Americans have been sizing Iran up, with a view to launching a military strike for years. The U.S. neocons and their Zionist allies want to lay waste to Iran and we suspect that this latest setback won’t change that. Ed.