US Navy had brush with Iranian fast attack craft – report — Analysis
US 5th Fleet confirmed that the encounter occurred in Strait of Hormuz. According to reports, it involved an intentional close miss
Two US Navy vessels faced off with three fast inshore attack craft belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Monday, the US 5th Fleet has revealed.
According to the US Navy, an hour-long encounter occurred in Strait of Hormuz. The report described the Iranian speedboats’ actions as “Unprofessional and unsafe”
The USS Sirocco as well as the expeditionary fast transport ship the USNS Choctaw County are said to have been “Conducting a routine transit within international waters” at the time of the incident.
Three vessels from Iran’s IRGCN interacted in an unsafe & unprofessional manner as U.S. Navy ships transited the Strait of Hormuz, June 20. U.S. naval forces remain vigilant & will continue to operate where international law allows.Read more ⬇️https://t.co/djcQ0fmaNnpic.twitter.com/Wec93HfKBd
— U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet June 21, 2022
According to the US 5th Fleet, one of the Iranian attack craft “Sirocco approached at high speed, and was only able to change course once the US ship gave audible warning signs in an attempt to avoid a collision.” The Sirocco is also said to have deployed a warning flare during the encounter.
The three Revolutionary Guard speedboats were eventually removed from the scene, and the US vessels continued to transit the area, according to the statement.
The US 5th Fleet has accused the Iranian sailors of failing to “Meet international standards for professional and safe maritime behaviour” and “This increases the chance of miscalculations and collisions.”
The US Navy also stressed that its forces will continue their operations in the air and at sea “Anywhere international law permits.”
Three photos show the speedboats of Iran are included with this statement.
Tehran has not yet commented on the incident as of the writing of this article.
Strategic importance is attached to the Strait of Hormuz as a chokepoint for the Persian Gulf. A report by the US Energy Information Administration claimed that in 2018, the Strait’s “The daily average oil flow was 21 million barrels per hour, roughly 21% global petroleum liquids use.”
In the past few years there have been many incidents that involved both US and Iranian Navies, as well as civilian boats.
Two Greek-owned oil tanksers were seized by Iranian forces in May. According to Euronews, they are still under Iranian control in June.
This month, Bloomberg cited Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying that the seizure was in retaliation for Greece “Theft of Iranian oil” – an apparent reference to Athens impounding a Russian-flagged tanker carrying 115,000 tons of Iranian oil in late May.
A month earlier, Iranian officials denied Washington’s accusations of the Revolutionary Guard of provocating in the Strait of Hormuz.
Similar encounters were also held in 2017/2017, 2016 and 2020.
According to the US, one Iranian surveillance drone was destroyed by American forces in 2019.
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