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US Claims IRGC Fired Rockets Near Its Warships

US Claims IRGC Fired Rockets Near Its WarshipsUS Claims IRGC Fired Rockets Near Its Warships

A US military spokesman claimed on Tuesday the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps launched rockets near the US aircraft-carrier Harry S. Truman and other warships as they were entering the Persian Gulf on Saturday, giving only brief notice in a "highly provocative" act.

NBC News, citing unnamed US military officials, said IRGC forces were conducting a live-fire exercise and the Truman came within about 1,500 meters of a rocket, Reuters reported.

"The rockets were not fired at the Truman and other ships, only near them," the network said. Several IRGC vessels fired the rockets "in close proximity" of the warships and nearby merchant traffic "after providing only 23 minutes of advance notification," said Navy Commander Kyle Raines, spokesman for the US Central Command.

"These actions were highly provocative, unsafe and unprofessional and call into question Iran's commitment to the security of a waterway vital to international commerce," Raines claimed in an email.

The Truman, accompanied by two warships from the US-led coalition supporting airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, was entering the Persian Gulf through the Hormuz Strait on a routine transit when the incident occurred, he said.

NBC News said the US destroyer Buckley and a French frigate were in the area where the rockets were fired.

"While most interactions between Iranian forces and the US Navy are professional, safe and routine, this event was not and runs contrary to efforts to ensure freedom of navigation and maritime safety in the global commons," Raines said.

Iranian and US forces have clashed in the Persian Gulf in the past, especially during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Tehran and major powers, including the United States, clinched an agreement in July that would curb Iran's nuclear program in return for lifting economic sanctions.

 

Financialtribune.com