Thursday, December 8, 2011

Drone Lost in Iran Was Joint CIA-Military Reconnaissance Plane

Fox News

The U.S. drone that apparently fell into Iran's hands was part of a joint CIA-military reconnaissance operation, Fox News has learned.

A senior U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that the spy plane was being used for the CIA-military operation along the Afghan-Iranian border when it lost connectivity and disappeared.

Officials had earlier confirmed the Iranians have the RQ-170 drone, but it was previously unclear what the drone was doing or which agency was operating it.

After Iran's military made the questionable claim Sunday that it had shot down the drone, the CIA at first referred questions to the Pentagon.

The NATO-led military coalition then issued a brief statement, appearing to describe the mission as part of the routine military operation in Afghanistan.

"The UAV to which the Iranians are referring may be a U.S. unarmed reconnaissance aircraft that had been flying a mission over western Afghanistan late last week," the International Security Assistance Force said. "The operators of the UAV lost control of the aircraft and had been working to determine its status."

But the official confirmation that the drone was part of a CIA-military mission would seem to line up with earlier confirmation that the drone was not a run-of-the-mill aircraft...[Full Article]

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