Iranian boat trains weapon at US helicopter

Iranian boat trains weapon at US helicopter
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An Iranian boat pointed a weapon at a U.S. Navy helicopter on Saturday in an incident described as “unsafe and unprofessional,” according to multiple reports Monday.

The incident happened in international waters as the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier transited the Strait of Hormuz to get to the Persian Gulf, according to the reports that cited unnamed defense officials.

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The Eisenhower spotted two small Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels and launched an SH-60 Seahawk helicopter to identify the crafts, the reports say.

When the helicopter was within half a mile of the vessels, the crew saw the weapon trained on it. The helicopter crew then flew back to the Eisenhower, according to the reports.

Though the helicopter crew did not feel threatened, officials deemed the incident unsafe because it could have escalated, according to Reuters.

About a third of all the oil traded by sea passes through the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which has been the site of multiple confrontations between the United States and Iran in the past.

In August, four Iranian ships harassed a U.S. destroyer in the strait, prompting the destroyer to fire flares into the air. That incident was followed days later by the Navy firing warning shots at an Iranian ship in the Persian Gulf after it ignored warnings to stop unprofessional maneuvers. 

The military has warned that Iranian behavior in the Persian Gulf has gotten worse over the course of the year.