Iran shoots down US drone
President Trump said Thursday that he believes Iran mistakenly shot down the US drone, saying he finds it "hard to believe it was intentional."
"Probably Iran made a mistake. I would imagine it was a general or somebody who made a mistake in shooting that drone down," Trump said.
"I find it hard to believe it was intentional. I think it could've been somebody that was loose and stupid," Trump said. "It was a very foolish move, that I can tell you."
Trump assured that the situation is "all going to work out."
The President also said that it made a "big, big difference" that the drone — which by definition is unmanned — had "nobody in" it.
President Trump said Thursday that Iran "made a big mistake," saying that the drone was "clearly" flying in international airspace.
"Iran made a big mistake," Trump said. "They made a very bad mistake."
Trump said the US has "scientifically" documented evidence that the drone was in international airspace.
Asked whether the US would respond to the attack or go to war with Iran, Trump said, "You'll find out."
"Obviously, you know, we're not going to be talking too much about it. You'll find out. They made a very big mistake," Trump said.
UN Secretary General António Guterres is “very concerned” about developments in the gulf, including reports of the downing of a US drone by Iran, and “appeals to all sides to exercise maximum restraint,” according to his spokesperson.
In a statement, Guterres' spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said:
"The Secretary-General is very concerned about developments in the Gulf region, including the reported downing of a United States drone by Iran. He appeals to all sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid any action that can escalate the already tense situation.
The Secretary-General stresses that the world cannot afford a major confrontation in the Gulf region."
A US general in the region said Iran's action was "an unprovoked attack."
Lt. General Joseph Guastella, commander US Air Forces Central Command, said during a briefing at the Pentagon that the US drone never entered Iranian airspace.
"This was an unprovoked attack on the US 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," Guastella said.
Iran has claimed this happened in Iranian airspace but Guastella said that is “categorically false.” He added, “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."
Guastella was briefing Pentagon reporters remotely from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar and did not take any questions
President Trump, who's meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House, was just asked if the US is going to war with Iran.
"You'll soon find out," he said.
The two leaders will have a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi confirmed that there is an briefing this morning on Capitol Hill on Iran.
Members of the Gang of 20 – leaders from both the House and Senate and senior members — will be there. They will “learn more” about the ongoing situation in Iran during the briefing, she said. It is unclear who is briefing today.
There will also be a broader Iran briefing for more members between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., according to Pelosi.
“I think it's a dangerous situation,” said Pelosi in today’s press conference when talking about Iran. “The high-tension wires are up in the region. We have to be strong and strategic about how we protect our interests. We also cannot be reckless in what we do.”
However, she doesn't believe President Trump wants to go to war, she said.
“There's no appetite for going to war in our country," Pelosi said. "I don't think the President wants to go to war."
The White House is holding a meeting today to discuss a response to Iran shooting down a US military drone, a person familiar with the plans tells CNN.
An official now says that President Trump is attending the meeting alongside defense officials. Earlier CNN reported that Trump wasn't expected to attend.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, incoming Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are all expected to be at the meeting.
The White House is holding a meeting this morning to discuss a response to Iran shooting down a US military drone, a person familiar with the plans tells CNN.
President Trump is not expected to attend the meeting right now.
Here's who is expected to be there:
- A US official said outgoing Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and incoming Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper are both expected to be there.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also be attending the meeting on Iran, according to an administration official.
Currently, neither the White House nor the National Security Council have weighed in publicly.
The Iranians want to send a clear message to the US: they are capable of hitting even advanced American equipment, and they won’t hesitate if they feel threatened.
The Iranians believe that President Trump does not want a war even though others in his administration — like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton — might be nudging Trump in that direction.
But Tehran considers the administration’s policy of maximum pressure, involving tough sanctions, to be economic warfare, and they want to show they are for ready an escalation.