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Thu Apr 16, 2020, 05:42 AM

US says Iranian vessels 'harassed' American warships in Arabian sea

Source: CNN

US says Iranian vessels 'harassed' American warships in Arabian sea

By Barbara Starr and Jamie Crawford, CNN
Updated 0018 GMT (0818 HKT) April 16, 2020

Washington (CNN) The US Navy released video that it says shows Iranian naval vessels repeatedly conducting "dangerous and harassing approaches" towards US Navy warships in the North Arabian Sea on Wednesday and claimed that one Iranian vessel came within 10 yards of colliding with a US ship.

The video of the incident appears to show multiple Iranian flagged vessels, with men manning guns at the front of those ships, passing in front of a US naval vessel. The guns do not appear to be pointed at the ship, which sounds a horn multiple times as the Iranian vessels approach.

According to a statement from US Central Command, 11 Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy vessels "repeatedly conducted dangerous and harassing approaches" of the USS Lewis B. Puller, USS Paul Hamilton, USS Firebolt, USS Sirocco, USCGC Wrangell and USCGC Maui "while the US vessels were conducting joint integration operations with US Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in the international waters of the North Arabian Gulf."

"The IRGCN vessels repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns of the U.S. vessels at extremely close range and high speeds, including multiple crossings of the Puller with a 50-yard closest point of approach (CPA) and within 10 yards of Maui's bow," the statement said.

The dangerous encounter comes as tensions between Iran and the US remain high after more than a year of the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign against Tehran and its January killing of Iran's second most powerful leader, Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

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Read more: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/15/politics/us-iran-ships-arabian-sea/index.html

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