US Navy ship has dangerous encounter with Iranian navy frigate

Iran’s belligerence in the Persian Gulf continues as it threatens a US Navy ship again.

A US Navy ship had a dangerous run-in with an Iranian navy frigate in the Middle East, CBS News reported Friday.

The surveillance frigate came within 150 yards of the USNS Invincible on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, just south of the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The encounter was deemed “unprofessional,” but not unsafe because the frigate was on a parallel course with the Invincible at the point of closest approach.

The Invincible is outfitted with sonar to track submarines and radar to monitor missile tests.

The number of belligerent  acts by Iranian forces against US troops stationed in the area has more than doubled since the signing of the controversial nuclear last year. A US defense official told CNN in August that the frequency of such incidents in 2016 had already surpassed the entire amount for 2015.

This latest incident is among a growing list of Iranian provocations against US forces, mostly maritime, in the region. The last one occurred in  January, when A US Navy destroyer fired three warning shots at armed Iranian patrol boats speeding toward the American warship at the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

In November, an IRGC boat trained its weapons on a US Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter and threatened to shoot it down.

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In September, Iran threatened to shoot down two US Navy aircraft flying in the Persian Gulf.

Earlier that month there were several dangerous encounters that US ships had with IRGC boats in the Gulf.

Last December, Iranians fired rockets near a US warship and other vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, and a month later they flew a drone over the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

In October, Houthi rebels in Yemen fired rockets several times at US Navy ships in the area. Gen. Joseph Votel, the top commander of US forces in the Middle East, said he believes Iran was behind the incidents. He sharply criticized the Islamic Republic for its naval provocations, saying they are worrying because they risk setting off a full-blown conflict.

“What we see with the Iranians is not particularly responsible,” Votel stated in August. “It is provocative, in some cases; it’s unsafe. And it can lead to situations where we may not be able to de-escalate in a time before something happens.”

By: World Israel News Staff