Iranian IRGC vessels conduct ‘dangerous approaches’ near US ships in Arabian Gulf
Several Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy vessels conducted “dangerous and harassing” approaches of US Navy vessels in the Arabian Gulf on Wednesday, according to a statement from the US military.
The statement said eleven IRGC navy ships conducted the approaches sometime on Wednesday.
“Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels conducted unsafe and unprofessional actions against U.S. Military ships by crossing the ships’ bows and sterns at close range while operating in international waters of the North Arabian Gulf,” read the statement for the US Fifth Fleet.
The US ships which were approached by the IRGC ships were identified as the USS Lewis B. Puller, USS Paul Hamilton, USS Firebolt, USS Sirocco, USCGC Wrangell and USCGC Maui.
Video shows the moment several Iranian #IRGC vessels approached US Navy ships in the Arabian Gulf earlier today. The #USNavy described the incident as “dangerous and harassing.”#Iranhttps://t.co/yX1Rx6nxx7 pic.twitter.com/UQANvZ6KrF— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) April 15, 2020
The ships were in progress of conducting joint operations with US army Apache attack helicopters in the international waters north of the Arabian Gulf at the time.
The US ships issued multiple warnings to the IRGC ships via bridge-to-bridge radio and sent short blasts from the ships’ horns and long-range acoustic noise maker.
Photos show several Iranian #IRGC vessels approaching US ships in the Arabian Gulf. The #USNavy sent multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and short blasts from the ships’ horns before the Iranian vessels left an hour later.#Iranhttps://t.co/yX1Rx6nxx7 pic.twitter.com/CMMxSySlf6— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) April 15, 2020
The statement added that the Iranian vessels responded to bridge-to-bridge radio queries after about an hour and maneuvered away.
Last month, the Pentagon said it would keep two aircraft carrier task forces in the Gulf region after carrying out strikes in Iraq on five depots for Iran-supplied rockets.