TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - A U.S. defense official Tuesday rejected Iran's claim to have captured an actively operating U.S. Navy drone. "The U.S. Navy has fully accounted for all unmanned air vehicles (UAV) operating in the Middle East region. Our operations in the Gulf are confined to internationally recognized water and air space," said the official, who is not authorized to speak to the media.
The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet -- based in Bahrain -- says it's looking into Iranian claims to have captured an American drone.
The claim was made by Iran's state TV, which said that the country's Revolutionary Guard captured a U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf. The report quoted a military official who said the drone had apparently taken off from a U.S. aircraft carrier.
If true, the seizure of the drone would be the third reported incident involving Iran and U.S. drones in the past two years.
Last month, Iran claimed that a U.S. drone had violated its airspace. The Pentagon said the unmanned aircraft came under fire -- at least twice but was not hit -- and that the Predator was over international waters.
In 2011, Iran claimed it brought down a CIA spy drone after it entered Iranian airspace from its eastern borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan. The RQ-170 Sentinel drone, which is equipped with stealth technology, was captured almost intact. Washington asked for it back but Iran refused, and instead released photos of Iranian officials studying the aircraft.
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