Footage reportedly shows Iranian vessels firing rockets near American warships in the Strait of Hormuz last month
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The US Navy on Saturday released footage it said showed Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels firing rockets near warships and commercial traffic in the strategic Strait of Hormuz late last month, a move raising tensions between the two nations despite the recent nuclear deal.
The Navy said it released the footage in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, though it also comes as US ally Saudi Arabia has cut ties to the Islamic Republic following attacks on diplomatic posts there after the kingdom’s execution of a Shiite cleric.
The 45 seconds of black-and-white Dec. 26 footage, which the Navy said was shot from a Seahawk helicopter, shows what appears to be an oil tanker passing by. A flash appears on the left side of the video and after zooming in, it shows small boats the Navy said were Iranian firing rockets.
The Navy has said the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, the USS Bulkeley destroyer and a French frigate were nearby at the time, as well as commercial vessels.
The Strait of Hormuz is only about 33 kilometers (21 miles) wide at its narrowest point. Ships traversing the chokepoint have even less room to maneuver. The shipping lane in either direction is only 2 miles (3.22 kilometers) wide, with a 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) buffer zone between them.
The US Navy’s 5th Fleet is based in nearby Bahrain, on the southern coast of the Gulf. It conducts anti-piracy patrols in the greater Gulf and serves as a regional counterbalance to Iran.
Full article: US Navy releases video of ‘provocative’ Iran rocket fire (The Times of Israel)