US Navy: Russian ship’s ‘aggression’ nearly caused collision in Arabian Sea
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US Navy: Russian ship’s ‘aggression’ nearly caused collision in Arabian Sea

Fifth Fleet says Russian warship ignored calls by guided-missile destroyer to change course; releases video showing vessel swiftly approaching

This photo provided by the US 5th Fleet, shows a Russian Navy ship approaching an American warship in the North Arabian Sea, on January 9, 2020. (US 5th Fleet via AP)
This photo provided by the US 5th Fleet, shows a Russian Navy ship approaching an American warship in the North Arabian Sea, on January 9, 2020. (US 5th Fleet via AP)

An American warship was “aggressively approached” by a Russian Navy ship in the North Arabian Sea, the US Navy said Friday.

Navy Cmdr. Josh Frey, spokesman for US 5th Fleet, said that the USS Farragut was conducting routine operations Thursday and sounded five short blasts to warn the Russian ship of a possible collision.

He said the USS Farragut, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, asked the Russian ship to change course and the ship initially refused but ultimately moved away.

Even though the Russian ship moved away, Frey said the delay in shifting course “increased the risk of collision.”

The Fifth Fleet released video showing the Russian vessel rapidly approaching the stern of the 510-foot (155 meter) US warship.

“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 fleet said in a statement.

The Farragut was in the region as part of the strike group attached to the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, deployed late last year to the Middle East as tensions with Iran rose.

“The US Navy continues to remain vigilant and is trained to act in a professional manner,” they said.

“We continue to encourage vessels from all nations to operate in accordance with internationally recognized maritime laws, standards and norms.”

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