Trump says Iran’s downing of US drone may have been unintentional

TEHRAN, Jun. 20 (MNA) – The US President Donald Trump says that the downing of US spy drone by IRGC may have been a mistake, claiming that it was flying over international waters despite the reports that the drone had crossed into Iranian airspace.

"Fortunately, that drone was unarmed. It was not -- there was no man in it, it was in international waters but we didn't have a man or woman in the drone, we had nobody in the drone. Would have made a big, big difference," Trump said during a White House meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday about downing of a US large drone by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards early on Thursday in the Iranian airspace.

 “I find it hard to believe it was intentional,” Trump said, adding "I would imagine it was a general or somebody who made a mistake in shooting the drone down." 

"I have a feeling -- and I may be wrong and I may be right but I'm right a lot -- that it was a mistake made by somebody that shouldn't have been doing what they do," he said. "I think they made a mistake and I'm not just talking about the country made a mistake somebody under the command of the country made a mistake."

Trump’s claims about the downing of the drone being a ‘mistake’ came against the backdrop of the fact that it was the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that first reported the news of downing the US spy drone, saying that the drone had crossed into the Iranian airspace despite Trump’s claim that the drone had been flying over international waters.

Major Gen. Hossein Salami, soon after the report, stressed that “Iran is not seeking war with any country, but we are fully prepared to defend Iran.”

Furthermore, the IRGC said in a statement about the incident that a 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 statement also said the drone’s identification transponder had been switched off “in violation of aviation rules and was moving in full secrecy” when it was downed.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet that Iran will “take this new aggression to UN & show that the US is lying about international waters.”

KI

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