The Iranian Revolutionary Guards fired a rocket close to an American military vessel on Saturday, in the Strait of Hormuz.
The missile was test-fired 1.3 kilometers (barely 3/4 of a mile) from the USS Harry S. Truman.
U.S. Central Command told Reuters the drill was “provocative, unsafe and unprofessional.”
The rockets were directed off the carrier’s starboard side, and were fired just as the U.S. carrier neared the end of the strait, military sources said.
The USS Harry S. Truman and the other vessels were in the “internationally recognized maritime traffic lane” at the time, a U.S. military official told NBC News. The USS Buckley, a French frigate and other commercial traffic were also present in the strait.
As the ships were transiting through, the Iranian navy suddenly announced over maritime radio that a live-fire exercise was about to begin. The navy ordered all vessels – which at the time were not in Iranian territorial waters – to clear the area.
Just 23 minutes later, an Iranian Navy fast and short attack craft began firing several unguided rockets “in close proximity,” according to U.S. Central Command spokesperson Navy Commander Kyle Raines.
“These actions were highly provocative, unsafe, and unprofessional and call into question Iran’s commitment to the security of a waterway vital to international commerce,” Raines said.
“While most interactions between Iranian forces and the U.S. Navy are professional, safe, and routine, this event was not and runs contrary to efforts to ensure freedom of navigation and maritime safety in the global commons,” Raines added in the unusually irate statement.
On November 16 2015, the USS Harry S. Truman, with assigned Carrier Air Wing Seven, began a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet areas of operation, the U.S. Navy confirmed. Truman can travel in excess of 30 knots, and has a crew of approximately 3,000. With the embarked air wing and staffs, the number rises to about 5,000.Hana Levi Julian