A merchant ship carrying an Iranian flag repeatedly fired a laser device at a U.S. Navy warship on Sunday in the Gulf of Aden. The incident was perceived as harassment from the Iranians as the U.S. warship is said to be patrolling the region for possible smuggling of Iranian weapons into Yemen.
USS Forrest Sherman repeatedly fired at with laser device
The USS Forrest Sherman and a helicopter were repeatedly targeted with a laser device by a merchant ship carrying an Iranian flag, a U.S. defense official told CNN on condition of anonymity. The incident took place on Sunday and lasted until Wednesday but no sailors were hurt nor equipment damaged by the attack.
The bridge area of the USS Forrest Sherman was the focus of the attack, the official told CNN. The laser attack brought no damage to the warship but the Navy was not able to identify the laser device used for the attack. Officials said that the device was not of industrial or military grade quality. The incident turned out to be a form of harassment from the Iranians.
The official said USS Forrest Sherman was conducting its routine maritime operations off the international waters of Yemen. But according to CNN, the ship is patrolling the region for any indication that Iranians are smuggling weapons into Yemen.
The most powerful destroyer fleet
USS Forrest Sherman is Navy’s most powerful destroyer fleet. It is highly capable of conducting multi-missions from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of National Military Strategy.
The mission of USS Forrest Sherman is to conduct sustained combat operations at sea, providing primary protections for the Navy’s aircraft carriers and battle groups, as well as essential escort to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces and auxiliary ships and independent operations as necessary. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
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Iran sends warships in Gulf of Aden
In June, Iran deployed its 35th flotilla of the Iranian Navy in the Gulf of Aden. The Iranian government said the dispatch of its naval fleet to international waters is a precaution against continued attacks of pirates on Iran’s cargo ships and oil tankers.
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