A Russian Navy ship “aggressively approached” a U.S. destroyer conducting routine operations in the North Arabian Sea on Thursday, the Navy said.
The USS Farragut signaled to the Russian ship that it was in danger of collision by firing five short blasts, an international maritime signal, the Navy said. The Farragut requested the Russian ship alter course in accordance with international rules of the road.
Two videos posted to the Navy’s Twitter account show the Russian ship flanking the U.S. ship, which fires the five blasts.
The Russian ship initially refused but ultimately altered course, the Navy said.
“While the Russian ship took action, the initial delay in complying with international rules while it was making an aggressive approach increased the risk of collision,” the Navy said.
Iran got its revenge:But the US Navy is still a target
The incident comes amid a week of escalating U.S. tensions with Iran. The U.S. has about 62,000 military personnel spread across land and sea in the broader Middle East region, and Iran has repeatedly said they remain a target.
USA TODAY recently spent a few days aboard the state-of-the-art, combat-ready USS Farragut as it patrolled the front lines of U.S. efforts to thwart Iranian aggressions at sea in a body of water in western Asia. Located in the heart of the Middle East, it is also one of the world’s most strategically important choke points for transporting oil.
A similar incident occurred in June, when U.S. and Russian ships nearly collided in the Pacific.
American Navy ships such as USS Farragut are often shadowed by Iranian ships and the two nations’ vessels come into contact on a near-daily basis.
In July last year, U.S. Marines jammed an Iranian drone Washington said was swooping near USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship in the area that, like USS Farragut, was operating out of the U.S. Fifth Fleet base in Manama, Bahrain.
In May, four ships were sabotaged with mines in the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah. A month later, two oil tankers were damaged by explosives in the Gulf of Oman.
The U.S. blamed Iran for these attacks. Iran disputes these claims. The evidence is not completely conclusive either way.
The U.S. Navy also recently confirmed that multiple small Iranian boats sailed alongside the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and other ships from a U.S. strike group as they sailed through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf of Oman in December.
“The U.S. Navy continues to remain vigilant and is trained to act in a professional manner,” the Navy said Friday.