Over the weekend Iran threatened to shoot down two US Navy surveillance aircraft flying close to Iranian territory in the Persian Gulf. This is the latest in a series of recent provocations between Iran and the US military in the region.
According to officials, On Sept. 10, a Navy P-8 Poseidon and an EP-3 Eries were flying a reconnaissance mission 13 miles off the coast of Iran, in the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman.
Iran’s territorial waters extend 12 miles into the sea, according to international maritime law, so the U.S. aircraft were pushing the limit extremely close.
At some point during the flight of the reconnaissance planes, the Iranian military warned the two aircraft to change course or risk getting shot down.
The US military planes ignored the warning and continued flying in international airspace, extremely close to Iranian territory.
When asked why the US jets were flying close to Iran the U.S. official told Fox News, “We wanted to test the Iranian reaction.”
“It’s one thing to tell someone to get off your lawn, but we weren’t on their lawn,” the official continued. “Anytime you threaten to shoot someone down, it’s not considered professional.”
Another official said the incident was not considered “unsafe” because according to their latest intelligence reports, there were no Iranian missile launchers in the area so there was no legitimate threat from Iran.
The latest incident between the US military and Iran is just the latest in a series of confrontations in their
Last month, Iranian fast-boats harassed US Navy warships in the Persian Gulf on at least five occasions. One of these incidents resulting in a US Navy coastal patrol craft firing three warning shots when an Iranian vessel ignored repeated radio calls to change their course.