An Israeli drone reportedly crashed in Iraq Wednesday near Baghdad airport and was quickly recovered by US personnel on the ground, according to a story on the Lebanese-based Al-Mayadeen satellite news channel.
Citing unnamed Iraqi sources, the TV station alleged that the US embassy in Iraq sent a team to gather up the drone’s remains.
Iraqi police and security forces said they did not know why the unmanned aircraft came down.
There was no confirmation of the report from any official sources.
The incident came after Iran claimed it shot down a similar Hermes drone over the weekend as it approached the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, some 240 kilometers (150 miles) south of the capital, Tehran.
Iranian officials published a video clip of the downed drone that appeared to show that it was a Hermes 450. Iran said the aircraft had taken off from a country on its northern border, although stopped short of identifying which of the three possible countries — Armenia, Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan– it was referring to.
On Monday Hamas claimed to have captured the remains of a small Israeli drone in the Gaza Strip that the terror group said it brought down. Hamas’s claims were not immediately responded to by Israel. A military source told The Times of Israel that the Israel Defense Forces had no comment on the matter.
The IDF was known to be utilizing several types of UAVs during the recent hostilities with Hamas, including small reconnaissance drones that provide real-time intelligence, as well as larger craft, which can launch missile attacks.
The Hermes 450, made by Elbit Systems, is a medium-sized drone designed for reconnaissance and surveillance missions, and can fly for over 20 hours straight. Each drone costs about $2 million.
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