A Nov. 1 attack was the first time Iran has attempted to hit an unmanned US aircraft. It is unclear whether the Iranians intended to shoot down the drone, but the Pentagon's 'working assumption' is that they did.
Iranian warplanes fired at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace last week but did not hit the aircraft, the Pentagon said on Thursday, disclosing details of an unprecedented incident that triggered a formal warning to Tehran through diplomatic channels.
If Iran had hit the drone, as the Pentagon believes it was trying to do, it could have forced American retaliation - with the potential consequences that entails.
According to the timeline provided by the Pentagon, two Iranian SU-25 "Frogfoot" aircraft intercepted the American drone at about 4:50 a.m. EST (0850 GMT) as it conducted a routine, but classified, surveillance mission over Gulf waters about 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coast.