BAGHDAD — U.S. warplanes shot down an Iranian drone aircraft over Iraq last month, the U.S. military announced Monday.
The unmanned aircraft, identified as an Ababil 3, was followed for over an hour on Feb. 25 before military commanders ordered jets to fire on it about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, the military said in a statement.
"This was not an accident on the part of the Iranians," the military said. "The UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] was in Iraqi airspace for nearly one hour and 10 minutes and well inside Iraqi territory before it was engaged."
Iraqi officials confirmed the incident but were muted in their reaction. With ties to both Iran and the United States, the government finds itself constantly balancing its interests between the two, which broke off diplomatic relations with each other three decades ago after Iran's Islamic Revolution.