Aug 31, 2022 12:15 p.m
The US Navy says it prevented an Iranian ship from permanently seizing a US drone ship in the Persian Gulf. It’s a new type of confrontation that underscores the growing tensions between Iran and the United States.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) confiscated a US drone ship in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday and then attempted to tow the object to the Iranian coast. Only when a warship and a US Navy helicopter approached the scene of the incident did the Iranians release the unmanned watercraft. It was the first time Iran had targeted the US Navy’s new 5th Fleet drone task force in the Middle East.
[2 of 3] Here is a video showing support ship Shahid Baziar, from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy unlawfully towing a U.S. Saildrone Explorer unmanned vessel in international waters of the Arabian Gulf, Aug. 30. pic.twitter.com/12qveGsJS7
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) August 30, 2022
The US Navy prevented the Iranian ship Shahid Baziar from seizing a US drone ship in the Persian Gulf, the Pentagon said in a statement.
No shots were fired from either side, nor did the US Navy attempt to stop the IRGC ship from turning away.
Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of US naval forces in the region, said the Iranian actions, which took place in international waters, were “blatant, unjustified and inconsistent with the conduct of a professional naval force”.
US 5th Fleet spokesman Timothy Hawkins said the incident ended peacefully after about four hours, when the Iranians detached the drone’s tow and left the area because US forces were in the vicinity.
Iranian media reported that the US drone ship posed a threat to international shipping. Tasnim News has described US coverage of the incident as “a Hollywood story and at odds with the truth”.
Nournews.ir, an Iranian media outlet affiliated with the country’s Supreme National Security Council, reported that the IRGC Navy “seized” the US vessel to ensure safe shipping lanes and prevent a possible casualty. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard then decidedto release the US drone ship again “after having briefed the American patrol ship on site about safety and safe navigation”.
The timely action of the #IRGC Navy in the field of controlling and towing the American unmanned boat (#UPS)has been carried out with the aim of securing the shipping route in the #PersianGulf and preventing the occurrence of a possible accident, that has occurred in recent weeks pic.twitter.com/cBaCXTyk6E
— nournewsen (@nournewsen) August 31, 2022
The US Navy has deployed a network of advanced unmanned aerial vehicles and watercraft in the region, known as “Task Force 59This latest incident marks the first time the Iranians have attempted to seize an UAV operated by the US task force. Iran already had the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone at the time hijacked, examined and recreated when this US drone entered Iranian airspace from Kandahar in 2011 and was forced to land by the Iranian army.
more on the subject – Wings of Death: How the Availability of Combat Drones Will Change War Forever