Drone Attack!

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Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Christopher Griffin

An MQ-1 Predator like this one safely returned to its base last week after Iranian aircraft shot at it and missed, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Iran attacked a slow-moving U.S. MQ-1 Predator drone – allegedly flying over international waters last week – and missed. Kind of helps you keep the Iranian military threat, apparently such as it is, in perspective.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said the drone was 16 miles off the Iranian coast – four miles beyond Iran’s territorial waters – and flying over the Persian Gulf at the time. It was apparently minding its own business (reconnaissance) when a pair of Iranian Su-25 Frogfoot fighters (hey, that’s NATO’s name for it, not the Russians’, who built it) shot at it, without effect. “We believe,” Little said, “they fired at least twice.”

The drone landed unscathed, Washington complained to Iran via the Swiss, and Little warned the U.S. has a number of options it can take if it happens again.

This is serious business. But it’s interesting to note how much less serious it is because there was no U.S. pilot at risk.