Is Iran downplaying the drone of an Iranian helicopter over a US naval ship?

Reports surfaced online on Saturday that an Iranian military helicopter allegedly flew near the USS Essex, days after reports said the USS Essex and the British Royal Navy aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth had conducted interoperability training.

The Essex is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. He was reportedly in the Gulf of Oman in recent days and has elements of Marine Expeditionary Unit 11 on board, according to previous reports.

The Essex is part of the Amphibious Ready Group which has three ships, according to USNI News, a “USS Essex helicopter landing dock (LHD-2), a USS Portland amphibious transport dock (LPD-27) and an amphibious landing dock. USS Pearl Harbor (LSD-52). “Portland is in the Red Sea for training that recently took place with Israel and Gulf partners.

There are reportedly MV-22B Ospreys in Essex, part of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 165. Essex has been in the area since August when it was deployed to Bahrain.

The recent video is 42 seconds long and was filmed from the cockpit of the suspected Iranian helicopter. He is approaching the American ship and helicopters can be seen on the deck. Last week, reports said the Essex was apparently involved in an incident in which Iranian drones approached the ship. Furthermore, Iran also accused the United States of “piracy” and claimed that the United States Navy tried to stop a ship carrying Iranian oil. Iranian commandos carried by helicopters seized the Vietnamese-owned tanker and took the oil.

The Iranian ship Khark is seen at an undisclosed location in Iran on September 10, 2020. (Credit: IRAN / WANA ARMY (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Video of the helicopter buzzing off the ship came from Telegram, but Iranian media appears to be downplaying the incident.

The incident was not mentioned in Fars News on Saturday and Tasnim only mentioned it when noting that the “Zionist” media was reporting the story. This leaves questions about the incident and what the message behind it could be.

US-Israel partnerships and joint training appear to be at an all-time high. Last month there was a Blue Flag with eight air forces gathered in Israel, the visit of the UAE air force commander to Israel, a joint training with the US Marines and a joint naval exercise in the Red Sea with the UAE. States and Bahrain. There have also been more US strategic bombers in the region. B-1 bombers flew over Israel on October 30 with an IDF escort. For the second time in a month, the B-1s were escorted late last week.

Iran’s Tasnim News reported that foreign reports have discussed the helicopter incident, saying that “the report goes on to say that the Iranian pilot portrayed and documented his presence aboard the aircraft carrier USS Essex in front of the eyes of the US military from within. from his cockpit. “Tasnim says that” these unusual images are produced when Iran conducts large-scale exercises in the northern Indian Ocean and parts of the Red Sea. “Iran refers to joint exercise Zulfiqar 1400.

So why was the Iranian media hesitant to jump on this story? Last week, Iran appears to have made up a story about an incident with the United States Navy, claiming that it may have eloped with a ship under the nose of the Fifth Fleet. Now Iran is not talking.

So why not brag?

This is not the first time that speedboats or drones by the Iranian IRGC or other Iranian military assets have harassed the US Navy.The United States fired warning shots in April and May at Iranian IRGC naval ships. The United States has warned of “unprofessional” incidents like this one.

Iran may have leaked this video to see how Israel and other media might react. If Iran is downplaying it at first, that means it is thinking about gauging US reactions. This is in contrast to other occasions when Iran seeks to take credit for the incidents. Since 2019, Iran has increased tensions with the US, mining ships and launching more drone strikes, and has been targeting Saudi Arabia, US facilities in Iraq and Syria, and assisting the Houthis in Yemen. Iran also used a drone to attack a commercial ship in July in the Gulf of Oman. Iran’s spy ship Saviz was damaged in April in the Red Sea. Iran has attacked commercial vessels in the past eight months, apparently thinking it is targeting ships linked to Israel.

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