Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said a potentially dangerous situation between Iran and the US was avoided in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday last week.
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“When you have other armed forces … flying like this, you definitely run the risk of some kind of escalation and miscalculation on both sides here, and that doesn’t help,” Kirby was quoted as saying. Stars and Stripes, Tuesday (16/11/2021).
“This one ended peacefully but that doesn’t mean it’s safe and professional, not at all.”
US forces identified the helicopter operating in an unsafe and unprofessional manner as belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy.
“The question really has to be asked Tehran and the Iranian Navy why do they feel this is a wise use of their pilots on their planes?” said Kirby.
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The Pentagon’s confirmation of the incident comes days after a video posted to social media emerged showing a cockpit view of an Iranian helicopter being shot by a US Navy aircraft carrier.
The incident came shortly after the USS Essex and the US Marines’ 11th Expeditionary Unit completed bilateral interoperability training with the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and its Naval Combat Assault Squadron.
The training on November 8, also based in the Gulf of Oman, included displaying the F-35B Lightning II’s vertical takeoff and landing (STOVL) capability. The Naval Combat Strike Squadron cross-decked an expensive F-35B from HMS Queen Elizabeth to USS Essex.