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U.S.: We shot down Iranian drone over Iraq

  • Story Highlights
  • U.S. military says two F-16 jets shot down Iranian spy drone over Iraq
  • U.S. say 70-minute patrol in Iraqi airspace was not accidental
  • It was shot down 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, military says
  • Iranian national security adviser declined to comment on the U.S. allegation
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. fighter jets in Iraq have shot down an unmanned Iranian spy drone aircraft, the U.S. military said Monday.

The Iranian aircraft had been flying in Iraqi airspace for 70 minutes before being shot down 60 miles northeast of Baghdad last month, the military said.

"This was not an accident on the part of the Iranians," the U.S. military said in a statement. "The [drone] was in Iraqi airspace for nearly one hour and 10 minutes and well inside Iraqi territory before it was engaged."

Two F-16 fighter jets followed the drone for about an hour before shooting it down, a Pentagon official said.

The drone had no weapons and was strictly a spy aircraft, the official told CNN.

The U.S. military has taken ownership of the drone, which the Pentagon official said is in "pretty good shape."

Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, declined to comment on the allegation and most major state-run media outlets in Iran did not carry news of any incident involving an Iranian drone.

The Bush administration regularly accused Iran of meddling in Iraq and arming fighters, and in 2002 President George W. Bush put Iran in his "axis of evil."

Since President Barack Obama took office he has appeared more conciliatory towards Iran although the country continues to cause U.S. concern over its nuclear ambitions and its role in Iraq.

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