Iran's Missiles Were Ready to Hit US Jets Supporting Intruding Sailors, Commander Says
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A number of US aircraft that had approached Iran’s Persian Gulf island of Farsi on January 12 to support two military vessels captured by the IRGC naval forces had to get out of the zone after the Iranian missiles zeroed in on them, Iran’s Air Defense commander said.
When the IRGC Navy announced that it had captured two US naval boats after trespassing the country’s territorial waters, the Air Defense switched on all its missile systems and the Air Force fighter jets also scrambled, Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said at a television talk show on Sunday night.
Thereafter, he added, three American F-18 fighter jets, a radar plane and a maritime patrol aircraft flew over the US aircraft carriers in the region and began to approach the Iranian island.
At first, the US planes conducted “bullying” behavior, and refused to respond to the signals, but felt obligated to make a contact later when they saw themselves aimed by the Iranian missiles and realized that they had less than 30 seconds to decide before Iran’s missiles are fired, the general explained.
The US jets announced they only flew towards the zone to support the captured boats, and left the area when the Iranian officers warned them to get away from the country’s borders and assured them that the arrested naval forces will be treated based on the international regulations, he noted.
According to Brigadier General Esmaili, the US planes went away at a distance of around 60 miles from the Farsi island afterwards, but the Iranian missile systems remained ready until the next morning.
The 10 US Navy troops, who had been captured on January 12, were released the next day.
According to the IRGC, the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier had been drifting out southeast of the island in the international waters when the Iranian forces seized the two boats, while the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle had been also patrolling in the international waters northeast of the island at the time of the seizure.