U.S. Confirms It Shot Down Iranian Drone Flying Over Iraq

The U.S. military in Baghdad confirmed Monday that an American fighter jet shot down an Iranian drone over Iraq last month.

The drone was first detected flying into Iraqi airspace Feb. 25, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, the military said.

Once pilots confirmed the drone did not belong to Coalition Forces, the pilots were directed to shoot it down.

The drone was tracked in Iraqi airspace for more than an hour before the decision was made, the military said.

An Iraqi official said the Iranian aircraft went down near the Iraqi border town of Mandali. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The U.S. has frequently accused the Iranians of supplying weapons, training and money to Shiite extremist groups opposed to the U.S. military presence and to the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

Iran has denied links to militant groups inside Iraq and says the instability in this country is due to the U.S. "occupation."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.