“We allowed this drone to enter (the Iranian airspace) and (then) tracked it for 43 minutes,” said Commander of Iran’s Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced in a statement on August 24 that its forces had intercepted and shot down an Israeli spy drone with a surface-to-air missile. The Israeli-made Hermes drone was heading to Natanz nuclear facility in the central province of Isfahan.
Esmaili also stated that Iran’s Shahab long-range strategic radar system played a major role in intercepting the Israeli drone.
The Iranian commander said the drone was targeted by firing only one missile.
On August 24, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan warned that the Islamic Republic would give a crushing response to any enemy aggression against the Iranian soil.
This is not the first time that Iran’s airspace has been the target of espionage activities.
In December 2011, a US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft was downed with minimal damage by the Iranian Army’s electronic warfare unit. The drone was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) from the Afghan border, when it was brought down.
The IRGC also captured a US ScanEagle drone over the Persian Gulf waters upon its intrusion into the Iranian airspace in December 2012.