Tehran’s navy plucked the two unmanned vessels from Red Sea waters in the second such incident this week
A crew from an Iranian warship took two US-made sea drones temporarily in international waters around the Red Sea. It was the second such incident this week involving Washington’s unmanned surface vessels in the region.
“The frigate ‘Jamaran’ seized the two vessels on Thursday to prevent any possible accident after issuing warnings to the US fleet,”Iranian state-run television reports on Friday. “After international shipping lanes were secured, these two vessels were released in a safe area.”
According to reports, video footage taken from the deck was shown as Iranian sailors throwing one of their Saildrone Explorers into the water. “The US Navy was warned to avoid repeating similar incidents in future,”Television report added.
According to NBC News, an unidentified Pentagon official said that American destroyers were nearby and confronted Iran’s ship. He then followed it up until drones were released Friday morning. This was approximately four hours after their capture. The official claimed that Iranian sailors attempted to conceal the drones by using tarps.
According to the Iranian report, Tehran’s forces found “several unmanned spying vessels abandoned in the international maritime routes.”Two US destroyers were warned, but they ignored them. The drones were then seized. “to prevent possible accidents.”
The latest incident comes after the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet issued a statement on Tuesday saying that an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) vessel was spotted towing an American Saildrone Explorer in the Persian Gulf. After confronting a US Navy patrol boat and helicopter, the IRGC cut its tow line and released he drone around four hours later.
Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of the Fifth Fleet, called the IRGC’s temporary seizure “unwarranted and inconsistent with the behavior of a professional maritime force.”He continued, “US naval forces remain vigilant and will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows while promoting rules-based international order throughout the region.”
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