Four Iranian military vessels sped close to two US Navy guided missile destroyers with their weapons uncovered in the Strait of Hormuz, American defense officials said Wednesday.
The USS Nitze shot warning flares, sounded its whistles and attempted unsuccessfully to communicate with the Iranian boats during Tuesday’s incident, US Central Command spokesman Commander Kyle Raines said in a statement.
He described the move as “unsafe and unprofessional” encounter between Tehran and Washington, adding that the Iranian vessels came within 300 yards (meters) of the American destroyer.
The Nitze was accompanied on its mission by the USS Mason, another destroyer.
The encounter occurred in international waters in the strait, a vitally important choke point with Iran to its north and the United Arab Emirates to the south.
“Nitze also changed its course multiple times in close proximity to offshore oil rigs in an attempt to maintain separation and better understand Iranian…
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