In a state TV broadcast, Thursday, Iran showed off what it says is a U.S. drone brought down in that country, but some observers have found reason to question portions of that account. The video broadcast shows two men in military garb walking around something that looks very much like an RQ-170 Sentinel drone aircraft. U.S. officials believe Iran is in possession of an RQ-170 that had been flown by the CIA and was lost over the country last week. At least initially, they appear less convinced that the object displayed in the video is that vehicle. U.S. officials claim the aircraft they lost was likely brought down due to a technical malfunction and did not immediately confirm that the video showed an authentic drone. Iranian officials have their own explanation.
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Brig. Gen of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and chief of its aerospace division, said the aircraft was brought down in an electronic ambush. According to Hajizadeh, that effort allowed Iranian forces to bring the airplane down with minimal damage. The aircraft on display is beige, which differs in that respect from gray models seen in stock video footage. It may also be smaller than the Lockheed Martin manufactured drone. Authentic or not, the Iranian video shows the vehicle is perched on a platform that displays American flags altered with skulls in the place of stars. The flags are also decorated with slogans translated by the Washington Post as, "We'll trample America underfoot" and "The U.S. cannot do a damn thing,"