THE Pentagon has claimed that US jets shot down an Iranian unmanned surveillance aircraft last month over Iraqi territory.

A US statement released on Monday said that the Ababil 3 surveillance and intelligence-gathering drone had been tracked for about 70 minutes before US warplanes shot it down ‘well inside Iraqi airspace.’

It asserted that the drone was downed about 60 miles north-east of Baghdad on February 25.
Tehran said that it has ‘no information’ on the alleged incident.

Washington has repeatedly accused Iran of meddling in Iraq and arming sectarian groups in the country.

And, last week, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates described Iran as ‘a real problem.’
Speaking on a popular US TV show, Mr Gates said: ‘I think it’s one of the significant challenges that we’re going to face over the next several years.’