US says planes threatened by Iran in Strait of Hormuz
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US says planes threatened by Iran in Strait of Hormuz

Iranian forces threatened a missile strike against US Navy patrol aircraft in international air space

Illustrative: The guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George and the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln transit the Strait of Hormuz. (CC-BY SA 3.0/Official US Navy Imagery)
Illustrative: The guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George and the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln transit the Strait of Hormuz. (CC-BY SA 3.0/Official US Navy Imagery)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The US Navy says Iran has threatened two American maritime patrol aircraft flying over the Strait of Hormuz.

It’s the latest in a series of encounters between Iranian and American forces raising tensions in and around the Persian Gulf.

US 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban said in a statement Tuesday the aircraft were flying in international airspace on Saturday when Iranian air defense stations warned them that they were nearing Iranian airspace.

He says the Iranians said “we will fire Iranian missile” if they did not change course, and that the Americans replied they were conducting routine operations in international airspace. He says the planes then continued on their mission.

Urban called the interaction “unprofessional,” but not “unsafe,” because the planes were out of known surface-to-air weapons range.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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