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Israel: Iranian drone shot down in February was weaponized

An Iranian drone shot down by an...

Posted: Apr 14, 2018 8:19 AM
Updated: Apr 14, 2018 8:19 AM

An Iranian drone shot down by an attack helicopter after it crossed into Israeli airspace in February was weaponized, the Israeli military said Friday.

The unmanned aerial vehicle was "armed with explosives and was tasked to attack Israeli territory," the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said in a report.

The military said that the "UAV was identified and tracked by Israeli defense systems until its destruction, effectively eliminating any threat the Iranian aircraft posed while flying towards Israeli territory."

The military said it came to its final conclusion after "analyzing the flight path and an operational and intelligence-based investigation of the remains."

The February 10 incident led to Israel launching retaliatory strikes that hit targets inside Syria, including what Israel says was the drone's base of origin, the T-4 military airbase near Homs.

The Israeli military said the drone was based on the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, which Iran intercepted during what the US called a reconnaissance mission in December 2011.

It was the first time an Iranian drone had crossed into Israeli airspace since the start of the Syrian civil war, Israeli Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN in February.

The claims regarding the downed drone were "too ridiculous to be addressed," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in February.

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