Pentagon Spokesman Briefs Reporters on U.S. Drone Shot Down by Iran

Pentagon Spokesperson briefs reporters at the Pentagon concerning a U.S. drone shot down by Iranian weapons, June 20, 2019.


Hey, good afternoon everybody. Thanks for joining us on short notice. We just want to get some information out to you guys. So, what we’re gonna do is we have Lieutenant General Joseph Guastella who is the commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command. He’s calling us from the Combined Air Operations Center Al Udeid Qatar. He’s gonna make a brief statement on last night’s shootdown. And at this time he’s not gonna take any questions but we’ll hopefully be coming back to you guys with some more information later today. So, General.

[Reporter] Jonathan, can we ask you why no questions?

[Joseph] Hello. Hello, good afternoon, this is Lieutenant General Joseph Guastella, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command. I’m prepared to give a statement but I won’t be answering questions at this time. A U.S. Navy RQ-4 was flying over the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz on a recent surveillance mission in international airspace in the vicinity of recent IRGC maritime attacks when it was shot down by an IRGC surface to air missile fired from a location in the vicinity of Goruk Iran. This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset that had not violated Iranian airspace at any time during its mission. This attack is an attempt to disrupt our ability to monitor the area following recent threats to international shipping and the free flow of commerce. Iranian reports that this aircraft was shot down over Iran are categorically false. The aircraft was over the Strait of Hormuz and fell into international waters. At the time of the intercept, the RQ-4 was operating at high altitude approximately 34 kilometers from the nearest point of land on the Iranian coast. This dangerous and escalatory attack was irresponsible and occurred in the vicinity of established air corridors between Dubai, UAE, and Muscat, Oman, possibly endangering innocent civilians. Thank you.

[Staff] We’ll have this available for download.

[Reporter] Why were there no questions taken?

[Staff] Sure, yeah, we’ll go ahead and continue to address your questions. Please work with Rebecca and U.S. Central Command. This is done for now.

[Reporter] There was another slide before. There was a slide, it said smoke trail of shot down.

[Reporter] So, is there a video? Is there some sort of, is there something else that we’re not getting?

I’m not tracking that. Let me figure out what that was about. This is the only thing that we were putting out.

[Reporter] That’s it?

Yeah, for now. We’re working on it.

[Reporter] So, there’s no imagery, there’s no?

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