Iran boat beams laser at U.S. helicopter over Strait of Hormuz

CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter. / U.S. Navy photo

 

An Iranian missile boat shined a laser at a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter flying over the Strait of Hormuz on June 13 in what the U.S. military called an “unsafe and unprofessional” action.

The Iranian vessel also turned its spotlight on two Navy ships that the helicopter was accompanying as they transited the strait, according to U.S. Navy Commander Bill Urban, a U.S. Fifth Fleet spokesman.

The Marine CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter automatically fired flares in response to the laser.

Urban said the Iranian boat came within 800 yards of the USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship, and “scanned it from bow to stern” with the spotlight. It also directed the beam on the USS Cole, a guided-missile destroyer, Urban said.

In March, the U.S. aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush confronted two sets of Iranian Navy fast-attack boats that had approached a U.S.-led, five-vessel flotilla as it entered the Strait.

Also in March, Iranian military vessels had a close encounter with a U.S. surveillance ship in the Strait of Hormuz. The incident was described by American officials as an “unsafe” and “unprofessional” maneuver by the Iranians. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards accused the United States of provoking tensions which led to the incident.

In January, a U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots at Iranian boats near the Strait of Hormuz, after five Iranian vessels approached the USS Mahan and two other American ships that were entering the strait.

Full article: Iran boat beams laser at U.S. helicopter over Strait of Hormuz (World Tribune)

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