The U.S. military on Wednesday denounced what it described as provocative maneuvers by Iranian vessels near American naval and Coast Guard ships in the Persian Gulf.
In a statement, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said 11 small vessels belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy conducted “dangerous and harassing approaches” toward a fleet of American ships, including the USS Lewis B. Puller, an expeditionary mobile base vehicle, and the USS Paul Hamilton, a destroyer.
The American ships were carrying out operations with Army Apache helicopters in the northern Gulf, the statement said.
The Iranian 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 and within 10 yards” of a Coast Guard ship’s bow, according to the military.