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US Navy: Iranian Frigate Approaches Ship, Points Weapons

FILE - An Iranian warship is seen in a April 7, 2015, photo.

FILE - An Iranian warship is seen in a April 7, 2015, photo.

An Iranian frigate approached a coalition auxiliary ship in the Gulf of Aden late last month and pointed its weapons at the vessel and a U.S. Navy helicopter, a U.S. military official said Wednesday.

The frigate approached the coalition ship July 25, coming about 180 meters from the vessel, said Navy spokesman Lt. Tim Hawkins in an interview with VOA. The helicopter had launched from the nearby USS Farragut destroyer and was conducting a training operation with the ship when the incident occurred, he said.

The U.S. Navy is routinely approached by Iranian warships in the Gulf in a safe manner, but this incident "stands out because it was unsafe and unprofessional," Hawkins said.

Those targeted by the Iranian frigate were trained in how to prevent miscalculation or further escalation, he said, adding that they did not respond to the frigate, which left the scene.

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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.