February 14, 2012
Iranian patrol boats and planes have trailed the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday.
Iran’s navy never approached the battle group closer than half a mile, making a point to stay in the Iranian waters. Radar operators also revealed an Iranian drone and surveillance helicopter zooming in the Persian country’s airspace near the strategic strait. A patrol plane buzzed over the Lincoln, said Rear Adm. Troy Shoemaker, commander of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Force.
“We would do the same things off the coast of the United Statesâ€¦ It’s more than reasonable. We’re operating in their backyard,” he said.
Flanked by several choppers and enforced by the cruiser USS Cape St. George and destroyer USS Sterett, the American battle group passed the narrow strait without incident, reports the Associated Press.
This isÂ the second time the US warship crosses the strait in recent weeks. The Abraham Lincoln, which carries dozens of F/A-18 strike fighters and other planes, entered the Gulf in January, despite Iran’s earlier warning to the US to stay out. Washington says that on Thursday the warship starts aiding the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
Tehran has slammed the build-up of Western military power in the Persian Gulf.
This article was posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 10:00 am