According to sources in the US defense department, four Iranian military vessels intercepted the Nitze US guided missile destroyer near the Strait of Hormuz on August 23.
Two Iranian military vessels of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) came within less than 275 meters to the Nitze US destroyer near the Strait of Hormuz, Reuters reported, citing a source in the US defense department.
The incident occurred on Tuesday. According to the source, Iranian vessels were approaching at high speed that he considered as an “unsafe and unprofessional” action.
“These sorts of unsafe and unprofessional actions can lead to escalation and miscalculation, which may necessitate additional defensive measures,” the Stars and Stripes newspaper quoted the words of Cmdr. Bill Urban, public affairs officer for US Naval Forces Central Command. “Commanding officers have an inherent obligation for self defense.”
As the source told the agency, in total, four Iranian boats approached to the US destroyer.
The Nitze allegedly tried to establish a radio contact with Iranian vessels, but did not receive any response. Then crewmembers used a ship’s whistle in order to show that the ship is unclear about another vessel’s intentions. After this, ten flares were fired by the destroyer toward the Iranian vessels, but again American seamen received no response.
Reportedly, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Forces made the Nitze to change its course in order to avoid a potential collision. After coming within 275 meters of the destroyer, the Iranian vessels left.
Earlier, it was reported about increase of frequency of incidents involving the US Navy and the Iranian Navy. So, in late December – early January, 10 American seamen were detained in Iranian territorial waters due to breakage of one of their two vessels.
Shortly before, the US Navy released a video, showing Iranian military vessels, launching several missiles in dangerous proximity to US aircraft carrier.