The U.S. Navy warned Tuesday it will take “lawful defensive measures” against vessels in the Mideast that come within 100 meters (yards) of its warships, offering specific guidelines after a recent close encounter with Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf.
Defensive measures have typically included turning a ship away from the approaching vessel, sounding its horn, shooting off flares and ultimately firing warning shots to force the vessel away. But offering a specific distance is new for the Navy.
“Our ships are conducting routine operations in international waters wherever international law allows and do not seek conflict,” said Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a Bahrain-based 5th Fleet spokeswoman. “However, our commanding officers retain the right to self-defense if deemed necessary.”
While 100 meters may seem far, it’s incredibly close for large warships that have difficulty in turning quickly, like aircraft carriers.
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