Fox News on November 13, 2016, reported that Iran threatened to shoot down two US Navy surveillance aircraft flying close to Iranian territory in the Persian Gulf over the weekend. Excerpts below:
On Sept. 10, a Navy P-8 Poseidon with a crew of nine and an EP-3 Eries with a crew of roughly 24, were flying a reconnaissance mission 13 miles off the coast of Iran, in the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman, according to officials.
At some point during the flight, the Iranian military warned the two aircraft to change course or risk getting shot down.
The US military planes ignored the warning and continued flying in international airspace, although close to Iranian territory, the officials said…
The official said the Iranian behavior was characterized as “unprofessional.” Another official said the incident was not considered “unsafe” because there were no Iranian missile launchers in the area, according to the latest intelligence reports.
The latest incident between the US military and Iran is just the latest in a series of confrontations in region.
Last month, Iranian fast-boats harassed US Navy warships in the Persian Gulf on at least five occasions. One incident resulting in three warning shots being fired from a US Navy coastal patrol craft, when an Iranian vessel ignored repeated radio calls to change course. On another occasion, an Iranian boat stopped 100 yards in front of a US Navy ship forcing it to take evasive maneuvers.
Dangerous interactions at sea between Iran and the US Navy have doubled in the first half of 2016 compared to the same time last year…