04/12/2012 04:04 GMT | Updated 04/12/2012 06:51 GMT

US ScanEagle Drone 'Captured' By Republican Guard Over Iran

UPDATE: According to a US Navy spokesperson, no American drones currently operating in the Middle East are unaccounted for, following claims by the Republican Guard that it had “captured” a ScanEagle US drone.

The Iranian regime has “captured” a ScanEagle US drone, according to state broadcaster IRIB. The country’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) released a statement on Tuesday saying that the unmanned craft was taken after it entered Iranian airspace.

The drone, which was gathering information over the Gulf, was "captured" by a naval unit of the IRGC.


The US ScanEagle drone is built by Boeing

The statement read: "The unmanned US drone patrolling Persian Gulf waters, performing reconnaissance and gathering intel, was captured as soon as it entered Iranian airspace."

The statement did not say how the drone was “captured”, but the incident was reported to have happened in the past few days.

It added that the ScanEagle, built by Boeing, is designed to take off from large vessels or warships.

A US naval spokesperson told Reuters that they were "aware" of the reports and were looking in to them.

Last month, the Iranian regime threatened to act "decisively" over any encroachment into its airspace, following reports of repeated flights by US drones over the Gulf.

Iran’s ambassador to the UN also sent a strongly worded letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon complaining of “illegal and provocative” flights by unmanned US vehicles over its sovereign airspace.