Iranian drone flew over US carrier in 'unprofessional' move: US Navy

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Iran Calls Drone Over U.S. Aircraft Carrier 'Sign of Bravery'

WASHINGTON/ANKARA, Jan 29 (Reuters) - An unarmed Iranian drone flew directly over a U.S. aircraft carrier operating in international waters in the Gulf this month in a move that was "abnormal and unprofessional," the U.S. military said on Friday.

Iranian state television said a surveillance drone flew over a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Gulf and took "precise" pictures during an Iranian naval drill on Friday.

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But a U.S. Navy spokeswoman only confirmed an incident on Jan. 12, when an unarmed Iranian drone flew directly over the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman. She could not confirm if it was the same incident reported by Iranian media.

The Jan. 12 overflight took place the same day Iran detained 10 U.S. sailors who it said had entered Iranian territorial waters by mistake.

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Iranian surveillance drone flew over US aircraft carrier
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Iranian drone flew over US carrier in 'unprofessional' move: US Navy
This still image made from video broadcast on Iranian State television, friday, Jan. 29, 2016 shows what purports to be drone footage of a U.S. aircraft carrier. Iran flew a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and took "precise" photographs of it as part of an ongoing naval drill, state media reported Friday. The U.S. Navy said an unarmed Iranian drone flew near a French and American carrier earlier this month, but couldn't confirm it was the same incident.(Iranian State Television via AP) IRAN OUT
This still image made from video broadcast on Iranian State television Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 shows what purports to be drone footage of a U.S. aircraft carrier. Iran flew a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and took "precise" photographs of it as part of an ongoing naval drill, state media reported Friday. The U.S. Navy said an unarmed Iranian drone flew near a French and American carrier earlier this month, but couldn't confirm it was the same incident.(Iranian State Television via AP) IRAN OUT
FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 file photo, France's flagship Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier navigates in the Persain Gulf as part of the U.S.- led coalition against the Islamic State grop, conducting airstrikes against extremist sites in Syria and Iraq in response to IS threats against French targets. Iran flew a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and took "precise" photographs of it as part of an ongoing naval drill, state television reported Friday. The U.S. Navy said an unarmed Iranian drone flew near a French and American carrier on Jan. 12, but couldn't confirm it was the same incident. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
In this Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015 photo released by the U.S. Navy, the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman transits the Strait of Hormuz. Iran flew a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and took "precise" photographs of it as part of an ongoing naval drill, state television reported Friday. The U.S. Navy said an unarmed Iranian drone flew near a French and American carrier on Jan. 12, but couldn't confirm it was the same incident. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class M. J. Lieberknecht/U.S. Navy via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT
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The drone initially flew toward the French carrier the Charles de Gaulle, and then flew directly over the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, said the spokeswoman, Lieutenant Commander Nicole Schwegman, in an e-mailed statement. The U.S. carrier was not conducting flight operations at the time, Schwegman said.

"The UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) was unarmed and posed no risk to the carrier's flight operations," Schwegman said. "While the Iranian UAV's actions posed no danger to the ship, it was, however, abnormal and unprofessional."

Both the American and French carriers were operating in international waters in the Gulf, Schwegman said.

The commander of Iran's navy, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, said the drone overflight reported by Iranian media as occurring on Friday was a sign of the Iranian navy's "readiness and bravery," according to state television.

An Iranian submarine was also deployed to the area on Friday and took pictures of the drone and the U.S. carrier, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. (Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati and Parisa Hafezi; Editing by David Alexander and Andrew Hay)

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