This kind of thing is bad if you don’t want a war to start: last week, two Iranian fighter jets fired their machine guns at an American Predator drone in international airspace. The attack was kept quiet until right now.
CNN reports that the drone was unarmed and conducting “routine maritime surveillance”, and that it was not hit by Iranian fire. Whether or not the Pentagon is telling the truth about the drone’s mission is questionable — there’s every reason to suspect it was snooping around Iranian assets. We don’t fly these things to photograph fish. It’s also uncertain whether Iran missed on purpose — it’s had to imagine missing a Predator drone, which isn’t capable of any kind of evasive manoeuvring comparable to a fighter.
Washington is not happy: “It doesn’t matter, they fired on us,” says one unnamed US intelligence officer. The US has asked Iran for an explanation but hasn’t heard back, which is just kind of sad and embarrassing. [CNN]