The Pentagon's image of the RQ-4 Global Hawk's flight path purports to show the unmanned aerial vehicle was not over Iranian territory, but international waters, when it was shot down Thursday.
The event only adds more tension to an already explosive situation, following the damaging of several tankers in two separate incidents in the Gulf of Oman in recent weeks. The US has pointed the finger firmly at Iran, accusing it or its "proxies" of sabotaging the ships with magnetic limpet mines, but Iran has denied responsibility for the explosions.
The US has deployed significant strike forces to the region in recent weeks, including a carrier battle group, a strategic bomber strike force, and thousands of US troops, claiming their presence is to deter planned attacks on US forces there by Tehran. Iran has denied such plans.