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U.S. says it prevented Iran from seizing 2 oil tankers in international waters

A U.S. Navy image shows damage sustained by the M/T Richmond Voyager after personnel from an Iranian naval vessel fired multiple long bursts of rounds from small arms and crew-manned weapons during an attempt to unlawfully seize the commercial tanker in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday. Photo by U.S. Navy | License Photo

July 5 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy says it prevented the Iranian navy from seizing two tankers in international waters Wednesday.

“On July 5, U.S. forces prevented two attempted commercial tanker seizures by the Iranian navy after the Iranians had opened fire in one of the incidents near the coast of Oman. Both of these incidents occurred in international waters,” U.S. Naval Forces Central Command U.S. 5th Fleet tweeted Wednesday.

At around 1 a.m. local time, an Iranian vessel approached the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker TRF Moss in international waters as it transited out of the Straight of Hormuz towards the Arabian Sea.

On July 5, U.S. forces prevented two attempted commercial tanker seizures by the Iranian Navy after the Iranians had opened fire in one of the incidents near the coast of Oman. Both of these incidents occurred in international waters. Read more ⬇️ https://t.co/HJNTzKtsXv pic.twitter.com/rvzDcATCQq— U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) July 5, 2023

The U.S. Navy diverted the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul to the area and the Iranian vessel broke off.

About three hours later the U.S. Navy received a distress call from the Bahamian-flagged tanker Richmond Voyager that an Iranian naval vessel was approaching and hailing the vessel to stop.

The U.S. Navy once again diverted the USS McFaul, which headed to the area at full speed to chase off the attackers. Footage from a U.S. drone shows the Iranian vessel firing towards the civilian vessel.

The Iranian vessel fired several bursts of gunfire at the vessel’s crew area before the U.S. Navy was able to chase the Iranians off. No injuries were reported.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the entire team, especially the exceptional effort by the McFaul crew, for immediately responding and preventing another seizure,” said U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces Commander, Vice Admiral Brad Cooper.

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