The following is an excerpt from ELIZABETH MCLAUGHLIN | August 8, 2017 | abcnews.go.com |
An Iranian drone came within 100 feet of a U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighter jet that was waiting to land on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier in the central Persian Gulf, two U.S. officials confirmed.
The jet was in a holding pattern about 1,000 feet above the Nimitz when the unarmed Iranian drone performed an "unsafe and unprofessional altitude change" in its vicinity, one official said, adding that the drone came within 100 feet underneath and 200 feet horizontally from the U.S. jet.
It did not respond to warnings in the form of radio calls, prompting the jet to maneuver to avoid a collision, a second official told ABC News.
US Navy ship fires warning shots at Iranian boat in Persian Gulf
In a statement, the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command called the drone's actions a "dangerous maneuver" and that it was "not in keeping with international maritime customs and laws."
"This is the 13th unsafe and/or unprofessional interaction between U.S. and Iranian maritime forces in 2017," the statement said.
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