Iran downs drone over southern port city

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The IRGC said that the United States spy drone had violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of June 20 and was immediately shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force's air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.

In June, US president Donald Trump authorised a strike on Iran after an American drone was shot down, only to call off the attack at the last minute amid fears that it would lead to excessive civilian casualties.

The drone "is undoubtedly foreign", Shariati asserted.

Khuzestan Governor announced that Army air defense system shot down an unknown drone in Mahshahr, Khuzestan Province.

IRIB, a state broadcaster, aired a short video purporting to show the interception of the drone by an Iranian anti-missile battery.

The semiofficial Mehr news agency later reported that wreckage from the drone had been recovered and was being examined by the authorities.

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The US Central Command said in a statement that all Pentagon drones are accounted for.

A US Defense official told the MailOnline: 'There are no reports of a USA drone being shot down'.

Regional tensions remain high over Tehran's collapsing nuclear deal with world powers, which the USA unilaterally withdrew from over a year ago. Washington insisted the aircraft was in global airspace, but Iran said it was over its territorial waters.

Later on Friday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Gen. Alireza Sabahifard, chief of the army's air defense, as saying the drone was destroyed before reaching "sensitive" centers of the country.

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, but the U.S. says the attacks involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounted to "an act of war".

Washington has responded with a military build-up in the Gulf and on Thursday launched an operation with its allies to protect navigation in Gulf waters.

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