An exercise targeting the ship may be a direct response from Tehran to an incident last week. This event involved aover Syria, which saw injured Iranian airliner passengers.
State media and Iranian officials have yet to admit having made a retort in the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20% of the world’s oil passes. However, his appearance there suggests that Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guards are preparing a recall of a similar mock shipwreck he led in 2015.
The Bahrain-based 5th Fleet of the US Navy, which patrols the waterways of the Middle East, remains “confident in the ability of our navies to defend against any maritime threat,” said spokesperson for Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich questioned about the movements of the false carrier.
“We can’t talk about what Iran hopes to gain by building this mockup, or the tactical value it would hope to gain by using such a mockup in a training or exercise scenario,” Rebarich told the Associated Press. “We are not seeking conflict, but stand ready to defend US forces and interests against maritime threats in the region. ”
The replica looks like the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers that the US Navy regularly sails into the Persian Gulf from the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the waterway. The class namesake USS Nimitz just entered Middle Eastern waters late last week from the Indian Ocean, likely to replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Indian Ocean. ‘Oman.
It is not known when and if the Nimitz will or will not pass through the Strait of Hormuz during her stay in the Middle East. The USS Abraham Lincoln, deployed last year as tensions initially mounted, spent months in the Arabian Sea before crossing the strait. The Eisenhower crossed the strait early last week.
The replica carries 16 fighter aircraft models on its deck, according to satellite photos taken by Maxar Technologies. The vessel appears to be approximately 200 meters (650 feet) long and 50 meters (160 feet) wide. A real Nimitz is over 300 meters (980 feet) long and 75 meters (245 feet) wide.
The model strongly resembles a similar model used in February 2015 during a military exercise called “Grand Prophète 9”. During this exercise, Iran invaded the fake speedboat carrier firing machine guns and rockets. Surface-to-sea missiles then targeted and destroyed the false aircraft carrier.
This exercise, however, took place as Iran and world powers remained stuck in negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program. Today, the agreement that emerged from these negotiations is in tatters. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the deal in May 2018. Iran then responded by slowly abandoning nearly all tenants of the deal, though it still allows UN inspectors access. at its nuclear sites.
Last summer, a series of attacks and incidents further escalated tensions between Iran and the United States. . Iran retaliated with a ballistic missile attack that injured dozens of US soldiers stationed in neighboring Iraq.
Iranian authorities on Friday said two US fighter jets flew dangerously close to an Iranian airliner over war-torn Syria, forcing the pilot to take emergency action and causing panic on board. However, the US military has disputed Iran’s account of the incident.
US Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesperson for US Central Command, told CBS News that a US F-15 fighter jet “performed a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air airliner at a safety distance of about 1000 meters from the airliner “Thursday evening.
CENTCOM released the statement after Iranian state television broadcast amateur footage of screaming passengers on board as the Mahan Air airliner appeared to suddenly change course. Another video apparently shot on a phone appears to show at least two fighter jets flying alongside the plane.
A passenger with blood running down his forehead and one falling to the ground were seen in the video, and a jet was visible through the window.