The Navy says a commercial vessel was “harassed” in the Strait of Hormuz by Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats.
The US Navy said its forces, along with the UK’s Royal Navy, responded to a distress call from a merchant ship in the Strait of Hormuz, located between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Three fast-attacking Guards ships with armed troops approached the merchant vessel Sunday afternoon around 5 p.m., the Navy statement said.
“The situation calmed down about an hour later when the merchant vessel confirmed that the fast attack craft had departed the scene. The merchant vessel continued transiting the Strait of Hormuz without further incident,” he said. the Navy said in a statement.
He added that the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul and the British Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster had answered the call. The Lancaster launched a helicopter to monitor the situation while the US 5th Fleet led a maritime patrol aircraft to observe the situation.
“The U.S. 5th Fleet remains vigilant and bolsters the defense around the key strait with partners to enhance regional maritime security and stability,” the Navy added.
The press release also included a black-and-white photo of the situation taken by the patrol plane showing a large commercial boat alongside three smaller vessels.
Rear Guard Adm. Abbas Gholamshah was quoted by Iranian news agency IRNA as saying his ships were just responding to a distress call from the commercial vessel. However, the Navy said the distress call originally came from reports from the ship’s civilian crew that there were armed personnel on board.
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