U.S. defense officials confirmed that two Iranian fighter jets fired at an unarmed U.S. drone over the Persian Gulf.
The Pentagon said the Predator drone was on a routine classified mission in international airspace 16 miles off the Iranian coast.
"An unarmed, unmanned MQ 1 [Predator] U.S. military aircraft conducting routine surveillance over the Arabian Gulf was intercepted by Iranian SU-25 Frogfoot aircraft and was fired upon with guns," Pentagon press secretary George Little said.
"The incident occurred over international waters approximately 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coastline. The MQ 1 was not hit and returned to its base safely," he said.
Little said Iran has been warned.
"We have a wide range of options from diplomatic to military to protect our military assets and our forces in the region and will do so when necessary," he said.
The United States conducts routine surveillance missions in the area.
"The United States has communicated to the Iranians that we will continue to conduct surveillance flights over international waters, over the Arabian Gulf, consistent with longstanding practices and our commitment to security in the region," he added.
Meanwhile, Iran defended its actions Friday, saying it will confront any attempted incursions into its country.
"The defenders of the Islamic Republic will respond decisively to any form of encroachment by air, sea, or on the ground," Iran's semi-official FARS news agency quoted General Massoud Jazayeri, a senior armed forces commander, as saying on Friday.