Iran can disable U.S. RQ-4 drone from remote distance: commander

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh

February 7, 2020 – 11:52

TEHRAN – The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force announced on Thursday that his country enjoys the technology to turn the U.S. modern large-size U.S. RQ-4 drone inefficient even while the aircraft is flying thousands of kilometers away from Iran’s borders.

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh made the announcement in an interview with the national TV.

On June, 20 2019, the IRGC shot down the U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone near the Kouh-e Mobarak region in the central district of Jask County after it violated the Iranian airspace.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather.

In his Thursday remarks, Hajizadeh added that new parts of the downed U.S. drone have been recently discovered in depth of Iran’s southern waters.

“We have accessed to the RQ-4 drone’s secret codes… We can make the drone inefficient from several thousands of kilometers distance,” the commander explained.

According to the IRGC June statement, the Global Hawk had flown from one of the American bases in the southern parts of the Persian Gulf region at 00:14 a.m. local time, with its identification transponders off in breach of all international aviation rules.

It said the drone had stealthily continued on the route from the Strait of Hormuz towards Iran’s port city of Chabahar.

While returning towards west of the Strait of Hormuz, the drone violated Iran’s territorial airspace and began gathering intelligence and spying, the statement said.

The drone was targeted and shot down by the IRGC at 04: 05 a.m. local time, it added.

The drone was shot by the homegrown air defense missile system called “Khordad-3rd”.

An informed IRGC source in Hormozgan province said at the time that the drone had been targeted near the Kouh-e Mobarak region and fell down in the area of Ras al-Shir in Iran’s territorial waters.

He said the downing came after repeated violations of Iran’s airspace by U.S. reconnaissance drones in the Persian Gulf region.

Wreckage of U.S. drone exhibited

For the first time, the IRGC Aerospace Force on Thursday put on display the full wreckage of the American spy drone. The wreckage was broadcast on national TV.

A small part of the drone’s wreckage had been put on display a day after the downing.

New information about attack on U.S. airbase will be released soon

Hajizadeh also said the Aerospace Force will soon release details about Iran’s missile attack on the U.S. airbase in western Iraq in response to the assassination of the IRGC Quds Force Commander General Qassem Soleimani.

In Iran’s missile attack on the Ain al-Assad airbase on January 8, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that “no Americans were harmed”. However, the Pentagon gradually released reports that certain American service members had suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

“There is a possibility that until sometime later they would announce that some American military forces have ‘died from mild brain injuries,” Hajizadeh said sarcastically.

USA Today reported on Feb. 6 that as it turned out, despite troops huddling in bomb shelters, dozens suffered brain injuries from the explosions when a payload of nearly a ton slammed into their base.

Frank Larkin, a former SEAL and retired sergeant-at-arms for the U.S. Senate, wrote in a letter that Trump’s comment “was a hard hit to the gut”.

According to USA Today, Larkin wasn’t alone in his disappointment. Veterans groups, led by the 1.6 million member Veterans of Foreign Wars, demanded a presidential apology.

Military Times reported on Wednesday that a 2011 Defense Department policy change regarding mild traumatic brain injury may mean nearly 60 U.S. service members are eligible for the Purple Heart following the Jan. 8 Iran ballistic missile attack.

Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesman, did not confirm to reporters Monday if Purple Hearts would be awarded for troops injured in the Iran strike.

Hoffman said the awarding of the Purple Heart was a question for each of the individual services of the “affected members” to answer due to “standards that they all have with regard to” TBI. Hoffman said he had not received an updated timeline on how that process was playing out.

As of Jan. 30, 64 service members have been diagnosed with mild TBI stemming from the Iranian attack, according to the Pentagon.

Hoffman told reporters Monday that about 60 percent of those service members have returned to duty.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters recently that he had personally explained to the president the implications of the diagnosis.

“I’ve had the chance to speak with the president. He is very concerned about the health and welfare of all of our service members — particularly those who were involved in the operations in Iraq,” Esper said.


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