US jets violate Iran’s airspace

Two U.S. airplanes have violated Iran's airspace in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, Iran's state television Sunday quoted a local military commander as saying on its website.

The airplanes on Saturday trespassed Iranian airspace from the northwest of Abadan, Khuzestan province, and disappeared from its southwest, said Colonel Aqili, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Abadan.

"The planes cast out white smoke trails, attracting the local people's attention," he was quoted as saying, but without giving the types of the two U.S. airplanes or their duration of the alleged violation.

On Jan. 16, local Fars News Agency reported that Iranian troops had shot down a U.S. pilotless spy plane.

The aircraft was brought down when it was trying to cross the borders "during the last few days," Seyed Nezam Mola Hoveizeh, a member of the Iranian parliament, was quoted as saying.

The lawmaker gave no exact date of the shot-down or any other details about the incident, but said "the United States sent such spy drones to the region every now and then."

The announcement came amid reports that the United States is increasingly flexing its muscles to counter Iran's growing regional assertiveness and put more pressure on Tehran over its controversial nuclear programs, Xinhua

Aqili said that US had violated Iranian airspace several times in the past.

Iran has detained 15 British seamen alleging the British Navy had trespassed its territorial waters. The issue has sparked diplomatic tension between Iran and UK, reports.

In Tehran, hundreds of students threw rocks and firecrackers at the British Embassy yesterday, calling for the expulsion of the country's ambassador.

The demonstration stood in stark contrast to statements made by British government officials that they were looking for new ways to resolve the crisis peacefully.

Several dozen policemen prevented the protesters from entering the embassy compound, although a few briefly scaled a fence outside the facility's walls before being pushed back, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene.

The students, who chanted slogans against the US and the UK, also advised Tehran not to release Faye Turney, the lone female sailor held captive, or show any flexibility until the British apologized, reports.

Source: agencies

Prepared by Alexander Timoshik

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Author`s name Alex Naumov