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Iran's IRGC speed boats 'harassed' ship in Strait of Hormuz: US Navy

There have been several incidents involving US and Iranian naval forces in the strategic waterway in recent years, prompting the US to increase patrols.
A handout picture provided by the Iranian army official website shows an Iranian naval ship parading during the last day of a military exercise in the Gulf, near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, Iran, Sept. 12, 2020.

The US Navy said an American destroyer and UK Navy frigate responded to a distress call by a commercial ship pursued by fast boats belonging to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday evening.

The Bahrain-based US 5th Fleet said the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul and the UK Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster received the call just before 5 p.m. local time.

“The civilian crew reported three fast-attack craft with armed personnel approached and followed the merchant vessel at close distance. The fast-attacked craft were assessed to be from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy,” said the US Navy in a statement, referencing Iran’s elite IRGC forces.

The US also dispatched a P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft, while the Lancaster deployed a helicopter to observe the interaction. "The situation deescalated approximately an hour later when the merchant vessel confirmed the fast-attack craft departed the scene. The merchant ship continued transiting the Strait of Hormuz without further incident," the US Navy's statement read.

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