Iranian general says US was warned several times before drone was shot down

An Iranian general on Friday said that officials sent multiple warnings to a U.S. military surveillance drone before firing off a missile to down the aircraft this week.

“Unfortunately they did not answer,” Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh said in an interview with state television, according to The Associated Press.

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Hajizadeh said officials eventually shot down the drone in international airspace after it was found to be flying above the Strait of Hormuz. He also said that officials were able to collect pieces of the drone found in its territorial waters, which could reportedly be seen behind him in the interview with state television on Friday.

U.S. officials have a different account of how events transpired on Wednesday night, however.

The U.S. Central Command (Centcom) said the U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system in an “unprovoked attack."

Centcom also denied Iranian claims that the drone had flown over Hormozgan Province in southern Iran, noting that the reconnaissance drone "provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions."

"This attack is an attempt to disrupt our ability to monitor the area following recent threats to international shipping and free flow of commerce, " Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, said in a statement.

In response to the drone incident, President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE had reportedly approved a military strike against Iran before eventually calling it off.

Trump had said earlier on Thursday that Iran made a "very big mistake” with the incident, but added in a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauTrudeau rips Trump over attacks on Democratic lawmakers: 'That is not how we do things in Canada' Sarah Sanders hits Ocasio-Cortez over criticism of Ivanka Trump's G-20 appearance Macron's office 'didn't anticipate the reaction' after sharing Ivanka Trump video clip MORE that he finds it “hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth.”