U.S. denies Iran's claims that it shot down a U.S. "spy" drone

/ CBS/AP

How "miscalculation" could spur Iran conflict
Northrop Grumman's RQ-4 Global Hawk drone northropgrumman.com

Tehran, Iran — Iran's Revolutionary Guard said Thursday it shot down a U.S. drone amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over Iran's collapsing nuclear deal with world powers. But the U.S. military denied any of its aircraft were operating over Iran on Wednesday.

The reported shootdown of the RQ-4 Global Hawk comes after the U.S. military previously alleged Iran fired a missile at another drone last week that responded to the attack on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. blames Iran for the attack on the ships, which Tehran denies.

The attacks come against the backdrop of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran following President Trump's decision to withdraw from Tehran's nuclear deal a year ago.

Trending News

The White House separately said it was aware of reports of a missile strike on Saudi Arabia amid a campaign targeting the kingdom by Yemen's Iranian-allied Houthi rebels.

Iran recently has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium and threatened to boost its enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels, trying to pressure Europe for new terms to the 2015 deal.

In recent weeks, the U.S. has sped an aircraft carrier to the Mideast and deployed additional troops to the tens of thousands already in the region. Mysterious attacks also have targeted oil tankers as Iranian-allied Houthi rebels launched bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.

All this has raised fears that a miscalculation or further rise in tensions could push the U.S. and Iran into an open conflict, some 40 years after Tehran's Islamic Revolution.

Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said it shot down the drone Thursday morning when it entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran's Hormozgan province. Kouhmobarak is some 750 miles southeast of Tehran and close to the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency, citing the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, identified the drone as an RQ-4 Global Hawk.

But Capt. Bill Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, told The Associated Press: "There was no drone over Iranian territory."

Northrop Grumman, the RQ-4 Global Hawk's manufacturer, says on its website that the drone is "able to fly at high altitudes for greater than 30 hours" and is "designed to gather near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather – day or night."

The Reuters news agency reports the Guard's news website Sepah News referred to the aircraft as a "spy" drone.

Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Mr. Trump had been "briefed on the reports of a missile strike in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

"We are closely monitoring the situation and continuing to consult with our partners and allies," Sanders said.

A White House official confirmed to CBS News that senior officials met at the White House Wednesday night after the reports of the missile strike in Saudi Arabia.

The Houthi's Al-Masirah satellite news channel claimed the rebels targeted a power plant in Jizan, near the kingdom's border with Yemen, with a cruise missile. Saudi state media and officials did not immediately report a missile strike Thursday.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis since March 2015 in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest nation now pushed to the brink of famine by the conflict. In recent weeks, the Houthis have launched a new campaign sending missiles and bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.

First published on June 20, 2019 / 2:17 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

northrop-grumman-global-hawk-drone.jpg

How to watch "NCIS: The Cases They Can't Forget

The series, hosted by Rocky Carroll, looks at some of the biggest cases handled by the real-life agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service

1H ago

Probe of airman's murder uncovers deception, fraud, witchcraft

"I had never seen a crime that appeared to be as violent as this one," said NCIS Special Agent of the murder of Tech. Sgt. Curtis Eccleston

1H ago

Janet Mock makes history with Netflix deal

Mock said she hopes the accomplishment, "will be a huge signal boost, industrywide, to empower people and equip them to tell their own stories"

2H ago

"My Little Pony" casket donated for Maleah Davis' funeral

Her lovingly decorated casket reminds the world who is at the heart of the tragic story: A little girl

3H ago

Fed wary of economic clouds, but leaves rates unchanged

Central bank officials say the economic outlook is increasingly uncertain — and signal their readiness to cut rates

6H ago

Officials meet after reports of missile strike in Saudi Arabia

Yemen's Iran-allied Houthis said earlier they had struck a power station in Al-Shuqaiq city, in the Saudi province of Jizan, Reuters reported

55M ago

Fed wary of economic clouds, but leaves rates unchanged

Central bank officials say the economic outlook is increasingly uncertain — and signal their readiness to cut rates

6H ago

2020 Daily Trail Markers: Biden draws fire as focus turns to South Carolina

Several of Biden's 2020 Democratic primary competitors jumped on his remarks about segregationist senators on Wednesday

7H ago

Dems descend on South Carolina for Clyburn's "World Famous Fish Fry"

"If you can't come up with a message that resonates in South Carolina, that probably means you won't win the South and won't win the primary"

8H ago

House confronts the "inheritance of slavery" in panel on reparations

Witnesses at the hearing include Sen. Cory Booker, one of the Democratic presidential candidates, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Danny Glover

9H ago

U.S. denies Iran's claims that it shot down a U.S. "spy" drone

Iran's Revolutionary Guard says it was flying over a province near the strategic Strait of Hormuz

12M ago

Officials meet after reports of missile strike in Saudi Arabia

Yemen's Iran-allied Houthis said earlier they had struck a power station in Al-Shuqaiq city, in the Saudi province of Jizan, Reuters reported

55M ago

David Ortiz not the intended target of shooting

The former Boston Red Sox star is still recovering after he was shot in the back in the Dominican Republic

7H ago

"The most famous weapon in the history of art" sells at auction

Experts believe Vincent van Gogh shot himself with a revolver in a French field in 1890

9H ago

Family searching for man who disappeared in Mexico

Jessy Pachecho, who had just graduated from medical school in Mexico, was there celebrating when he disappeared June 15

9H ago

Janet Mock makes history with Netflix deal

Mock said she hopes the accomplishment, "will be a huge signal boost, industrywide, to empower people and equip them to tell their own stories"

2H ago

Highest-grossing movies of all time, ranked

What's the highest-grossing movie of all time? It might be one of your favorites

Jun 4 27 photos

Key piece of evidence missing in Kevin Spacey case

The young man and his parents "have searched all the places where such a phone may have been stored. They have not found the phone," said attorney

3H ago

"Avengers: Endgame" getting re-released with new footage

Marvel's massive box office smash might be able to beat James Cameron's "Avatar," which holds the all-time record with $2.788 billion

10H ago

Bella Thorne fires back at Whoopi Goldberg for shaming her

"Shame on you, Whoopi," Thorne said, after Goldberg said she should have known better than to take nude photos

10H ago

City pays $600,000 to hackers who seized its computer system

Cyberattack blocked 911 dispatchers from logging calls, as a growing number U.S. municipalities are taken hostage

10H ago

Bitcoin price hits 1-year high on boost from Facebook's Libra plan

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts see Facebook's move into digital money as "the catalyst everyone's been looking for"

18H ago

Why Facebook is minting its own currency

Social media company, no stranger to controversy, is diving into the brave new world of virtual money

Jun 18

Google commits $1 billion to ease housing crisis in the Bay Area

CEO Sundar Pichai said the internet company will pave the way for 20,000 new homes in the region over the next decade

10H ago

Meet Facebook's Libra, a digital currency for the social network

The company is partnering with big names like Visa, Mastercard, Uber and Spotify to create a new global cryptocurrency

Jun 18

Spy satellites show glaciers losing ground to climate change

Declassified spy satellite photos lead scientists to some startling conclusions

12H ago

Hundreds of dead dolphins on Gulf Coast leave scientists perplexed

Almost 300 dead and dying dolphins have washed up on the shores of four Gulf Coast states – three times the usual number

18H ago

Starving polar bear wanders into Siberian city looking for food

Hundreds of miles from where it should be hunting, emaciated bear seen poking around on industrial estate for food

21H ago

Bear killed in Oregon after officials say it became too friendly

The bear had become "habituated" or accustomed to the area after people left food for it

Jun 18

Sled dogs slog through meltwater on Greenland ice sheet

"Challenging conditions" for researchers collecting instruments used to measure sea ice brought on by "very warm conditions" in the Arctic

Jun 18

Driving while high: Offenders don't think they'll be arrested

AAA says in the last 30 days, almost 15 million drivers got behind the wheel within an hour of using marijuana

8H ago

Trump vows to cure cancer and eradicate AIDS

"We will push onward with new medical frontiers," President Trump said at his campaign kickoff rally

13H ago

How endometriosis interferes with pregnancy and disrupts women's lives

The disease impacts an estimated ten percent of women during their reproductive years

17H ago

San Francisco city leaders vote to ban e-cigarette sales

The measure still requires final approval — but if it succeeds, San Francisco would be the first city to block the sale of e-cigs

18H ago

Dozens of farmworkers in Calif. vineyard exposed to pesticide

Three brought to hospital; they were all near field that was being sprayed when wind shifted

20H ago

Fed wary of economic clouds, but leaves rates unchanged

Central bank officials say the economic outlook is increasingly uncertain — and signal their readiness to cut rates

6H ago

Harassment allegations slide since Harvey Weinstein accused

The number of highly publicized accusations of sexual assault or misconduct is down sharply, "#MeToo Index" shows

7H ago

Cracker Barrel cancels church event over pastor's LGBT execution remarks

The restaurant chain said it disagrees with pastor Grayson Fritts' statements of hate and divisiveness

9H ago

City pays $600,000 to hackers who seized its computer system

Cyberattack blocked 911 dispatchers from logging calls, as a growing number U.S. municipalities are taken hostage

10H ago

Wall Street ends higher after the Fed's hold-steady decision

Investors took the central bank's decision and revised outlook in stride, without reacting extremely one way or the other

10H ago

How to watch "NCIS: The Cases They Can't Forget

The series, hosted by Rocky Carroll, looks at some of the biggest cases handled by the real-life agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service

1H ago

Probe of airman's murder uncovers deception, fraud, witchcraft

"I had never seen a crime that appeared to be as violent as this one," said NCIS Special Agent of the murder of Tech. Sgt. Curtis Eccleston

1H ago

Key piece of evidence missing in Kevin Spacey case

The young man and his parents "have searched all the places where such a phone may have been stored. They have not found the phone," said attorney

3H ago

"My Little Pony" casket donated for Maleah Davis' funeral

Her lovingly decorated casket reminds the world who is at the heart of the tragic story: A little girl

3H ago

The Enemy Within

Real-life NCIS agents team up with Air Force investigators to solve the murder of an American airman in Japan, leading to a dark, twisted path of deception, fraud and witchcraft.

updated 49M ago 42:27

NASA to land 1st woman on moon as part of Artemis mission

NASA's project aims to bring human beings back to the moon by 2024

Jun 16

NASA spots "Star Trek" Starfleet logo on Mars

Hopefully, it finds some aliens sporting Vulcan salutes next

Jun 14

Earth approaching "meteor swarm" eyed in past impact

Scientists hope to study the Taurid meteor shower closely, in hopes of better predicting the risk of a future impact

Jun 12

SpaceX launches 3 Earth-observation satellites

The three Radarsat satellites will monitor resources and the effects of climate change across Canada

Jun 12

Jupiter's largest moons visible with binoculars in June

NASA has a message for space lovers this month: Look up

Jun 11

Photographer Dave Engledow, the "World's Best Father"

He calls himself the "World's Best Father," and he's got the pictures of himself and his daughter, Alice, to prove it

Jun 16 16 photos

Forbes: World's top 20 billionaires

Forbes has updated their billionaires list, detailing the richest people around the world.

Jun 13 21 photos

Tony Awards 2019: Red carpet looks from your favorite stars

See Broadway stars walk the red carpet at Radio City Music Hall in New York City at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards

Jun 9 39 photos

Jayme Closs case: Recently released evidence photos

At Jake Patterson's sentencing hearing, prosecutors showed a select few evidence photos to the court and asked that Patterson be sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Jayme Closs' parents and the 13-year-old's kidnapping

Jun 8 14 photos

Summer music 2019

It's summertime – time for music at festivals and venues across the country

Jun 8 58 photos

Popular

Sneak peek: Defending DJ

Inside a family’s mission to restore their son’s reputation seven years after he was fatally shot by a police officer. CBS News special correspondent James Brown reports Saturday, June 22 at 10/9c on CBS.

11H ago 03:37

Key piece of evidence missing in Kevin Spacey case

A man who says Kevin Spacey groped him at a Nantucket bar cannot find the cellphone he has been ordered to turn over to the defense, the accuser's attorney said Wednesday. A judge has ordered it to be turned over by Friday. CBS Boston's Cheryl Fiandaca reports.

3H ago 01:22

SCOTUS to weigh in on Census citizenship question

The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on the 2020 Census citizenship question. Having the Supreme Court make final decisions on things that should be settled in Congress is a threat to democracy, according to CBS News legal analyst Kim Wehle. She joined CBSN to discuss.

4H ago 06:11

2020 Democrats criticize Biden for comments about segregationists

Former Vice President Joe Biden was defiant Wednesday despite criticism from his fellow Democratic presidential contenders about comments he made about working with segregationists. Washington Post political reporter Michael Scherer, USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page, CBSN political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns and CBSN political contributor and Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright join "Red & Blue" to discuss Wednesday's 2020 political news.

3H ago 17:49

6/19/19: Red and Blue

Biden backlash over segregationist sen. remarks; UN: 'Credible evidence' in Khashoggi killing

4H ago 47:40