Following a meeting with his security advisers on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump spoke about a US RQ-4A Global Hawk drone – an unarmed and unmanned craft – that was shot down by Iran while flying in international airspace. In a tweet, Trump declared, “Iran made a very big mistake!” but later stated that the move could have been unintentional.
Trump said that Iran shooting down the drone could have been a “mistake” made by someone “stupid,” according to a report by ABC News.
While Iran had announced that the country is “ready for war,” a move that Trump labeled “a very big mistake,” Trump wasn’t certain whether the shooting down of the drone was a provocation.
When asked whether the US would strike back, Trump stated, “You’ll soon find out.”
Then, he added, “I find it hard to believe it was intentional if you want to know the truth.”
“It could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”
“I would imagine it was a general or somebody who made a mistake in shooting the drone down,” said Trump. “Fortunately, that drone was unarmed. It was not — there was no man in it, it was in international waters, but we didn’t have a man or woman in the drone, we had nobody in the drone. Would have made a big, big difference.”
“I have a feeling — and I may be wrong, and I may be right, but I’m right a lot — that it was a mistake made by somebody that shouldn’t have been doing what they do,” Trump continued. “I think they made a mistake and I’m not just talking about the country made a mistake somebody under the command of the country made a mistake.”
Trump did state that shooting down the drone “was a very foolish move,” adding, “This country will not stand for it.”
Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, the commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, stated that the drone was flying above the Gulf of Oman and was on a surveillance mission, operating “at high-altitude approximately 34 kilometers from the nearest point of land on the Iranian coast.”
Guastella labeled the incident an “unprovoked attack,” adding that the shooting of the drone was “an attempt to disrupt our ability to monitor the area following recent threats to international shipping and free flow of commerce.”
Iran maintains that the US drone violated its airspace and has not addressed Trump’s comments that it may have been a mistake.
The US Navy is attempting to recover the remains of the drone, which fell near the Strait of Hormuz in international waters.