Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps says it threatened to open fire on U.S. Marine Corps and Navy helicopters covering a group of American warships as they passed through the volatile Strait of Hormuz recently, prompting them to land. The U.S. Navy told The War Zone that no U.S. helicopters headed back to their ships while supporting the transit for any other reason than to refuel.
Pictures and video footage Iran released via the semi-official Tasnim News Agency yesterday show one of the country’s new sea base-esque vessels, the Shahid Mahdavi, and other vessels, supported by drones flying above, very closely shadowing the U.S. naval contingent as it passed into the Persian Gulf last week. The actual transit occurred on August 17.
Only the U.S. Navy’s Wasp class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan and Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Thomas Hudner are visible in the Iranian pictures and videos. However, USNI News reported last week that the Harpers Ferry class amphibious warship USS Carter Hall had also sailed through the Strait of Hormuz on or about August 17.
At one point in the Iranian video clips of the transit, seen below, a member of the IRGC-N can be heard hailing the U.S. Navy vessels in English.
“This is coalition warship. I am engaged in transit passage in accordance with international law. Over,” an apparent U.S. Navy sailor is then heard saying in response.
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