Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 28
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
A senior Iranian commander has unveiled new details about the alleged Israeli spy drone which was downed by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Aug. 23.
Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, commander of the Iranian Air Defense Force said that the drone was followed for 43 minutes inside the Iranian airspace, the country's Mehr news agency reported Aug. 28.
Esmaili went on to note that the operation of destroying the drone took 2 minutes.
Earlier Iranian officials announced that the drone was identified upon arrival in the country's air zone.
Brigadier-General Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the IRGC said that "the Israeli drone was identified upon arrival in Iranian airspace, however permitted to fly to determine its goal."
Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' Aerospace Forces said that the drone was a Hermes-type, adding "the Israeli drone was equipped with two front and side cameras that could capture panoramic footage with very high resolution."
"The drone is made by Israel and can operate within a range of 800 kilometers," Hajizadeh explained.
He went on to note that the aircraft can cruise 1,600 kilometers on one tank of fuel.
The drone's maximum speed reaches 176 kmh.
Iranian officials say that the drone was trying to penetrate Natanz nuclear enrichment site in central Iran.
"The downed aircraft was of the stealth, radar-evasive type and it intended to penetrate the off-limit nuclear area in Natanz... but was targeted by a ground-to-air missile before it managed to enter the area," ISNA said, citing a statement by the Revolutionary Guards.
The Israeli military says it will not comment on foreign reports.