Iran Says It Chased Off US Spy Plane Over Territorial Waters

Iran's military has claimed a US spy plane violated or at least came close to violating its airspace on Sunday, having flown over Iranian territorial waters. An Iranian navy statement said it tracked the movements of "an American spy plane" that approached Iran without authorization.

"After the US Navy’s EP-3E aircraft entered Iran’s territorial waters, vigilant Navy commanders sent a warning to prevent the aircraft from entering the country’s airspace without authorization," the statement said.

Iran Says It Chased Off US Spy Plane Over Territorial Waters

The incident happened over waters in the Gulf of Oman, and Iranian state media is saying its military chased it away. Navy commanders said the American Navy EP-3E plane returned to international routes after Iran "sent a warning".

The Pentagon did not immediately confirm or comment on the alleged incident in the hours after the Iranian media reports.

Tensions are high on the gulf region following recent US Navy intercepts of ships said to be carrying 'illegal' weapons and fuel in the Gulf of Oman.

The UK military has also lately disrupted alleged smuggling operations out of Iran involving cargo destined for Yemen and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels there who for years have been battling Saudi/UAE forces. Washington has long backed the Saudi coalition, and for a long period of time assisted with airstrikes and aircraft. 

Iran Says It Chased Off US Spy Plane Over Territorial Waters

Last month's Iran-Saudi rapprochement and normalization of ties is expected to have a stabilizing effect in the gulf region, or at least that's the hope among many officials in the West, but one important factor is that it has put Israel even more on edge. Israel has attacked what it says are 'Iranian targets' inside Syria three nights in a row since Thursday, in a significant uptick of aggression. 

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