Us Shoots Iranian Drone Down Over Iraq

03.16.09 | FL News Team

An Iranian drone that crossed into Iraqi territory has been shot down by U.S. forces. The incident, which happened a few weeks ago, could highlight the deep tensions between Iraq and Iran.

The head of military operations at the Iraqi Defense Ministry says the unmanned Iranian plane was picked up on radar by multi-national forces as it crossed the border and an American plane brought it down.

The Iraqi official says the aircraft crossed into Iraq some 60 miles outside Baghdad.  It was only about six miles into Iraq when it was shot down.  He says the border-crossing was most likely a mistake. The U.S. military has refused to comment on the incident.  

Relations between Iran and Iraq are mostly friendly despite the eight year war fought between the two in the 1980s that killed about a million people. Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have been high as Washington accuses Tehran of arming militants in Iraq.  However, the U.S. has backed off those accusations lately amid a drop in violence in Iraq.

President Obama has expressed interest in opening a dialogue with Iran to discuss everything from its nuclear ambitions to how Tehran might help in Afghanistan. Iran's president has said he would be open talks with Washington, but only if there are fundamental changes to U.S. policy in the Middle East.