Downed Drone in Iran on CIA Mission

Iran had managed to down a U.S. stealth drone that was on a CIA reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan, U.S. officials said. The government sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that most probably the drone unintentionally entered Iranian airspace last week, while being on a mission in Afghanistan. It was a RQ-170 Sentinel drone, the sources confirmed.

CIA Drone

The Iranian military retrieved the wreckage while the United States top brass decided not to bomb the crash site or try to retrieve the aircraft. The U.S. military and intelligence agencies established satellite surveillance over the site only to confirm that Iranian forces have retrieved the aircraft.

The U.S. authorities claim that flight operators lost control over the drone, which was not shot down by Iranians as previously stated by Iranian media.

The RQ-170 Sentinel’s primary role is to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions for the U.S. Air Force, while military officials clearly hinted that intelligence agencies were involved in the mission that ended with the crash of the aircraft. According to Iran’s state Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA,) the armed forces retrieved the aircraft after it suffered only slight damages.

Initially, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan issued a statement, which read that an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was on a mission over western Afghanistan when the operators lost control of the aircraft. Coalition sources pointed at the fact that no specific agency or part of the U.S. military is mentioned in the statement, signaling that CIA was involved in the mission.

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