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U.S. Helicopters Forced to Return to Cruiser After Iran’s Warning

U.S. helicopters were forced to return to a cruiser in the Strait of Hormuz after receiving warnings from Iran, in a recent encounter between the two sides after the U.S. started to build up its military presence in the strait, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported on Sunday.

The Navy of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Iran’s elite force, released a footage of the incident on Saturday night at a gathering of the IRGC commanders in the Iranian capital Tehran, Fars reported.

In the footage, which recorded the dangerous encounter that took place on Thursday, the IRGC naval forces warned a U.S. cruiser in the Strait of Hormuz that its helicopters were flying “in the vicinity of” the IRGC’s vessels and Iran’s offshore Hengam oilfield, and were entering Iran’s territorial waters.

The IRGC forces warned that they would “open fire on the helicopters” if the American warship failed to obey their order to land the choppers and stop them from entering Iran’s territorial waters.

After receiving the warning and the IRGC sent its speedboats, the choppers landed on the cruiser’s deck, Commander of the IRGC Navy Alireza Tangsiri was quoted as saying.

He added it was the first entry by the Americans into the waters off the southern coasts of Iran since November 2021, stressing that Iran and the other countries of the region can ensure security in the regional waters and there is no need for foreigners’ presence.

Over the past weeks, the United States has been building up its military presence in the Middle East and the Strait of Hormuz on the pretext of protecting ships against Iran’s “harassment,” a claim strongly rejected by Iranian authorities, who say transregional troops’ presence in the region only leads to insecurity and instability.