Alexa

US Navy rescues Iranian fishing boat from pirates

 In this Jan. 5, 2012 handout photo released by the US Navy, A U.S. Navy SH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter provides support to a visit, board, search and sei...
 In this Jan. 5, 2012  photo released by the US Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) responds to a distress call from the master of t...

Mideast US Navy Iran

In this Jan. 5, 2012 handout photo released by the US Navy, A U.S. Navy SH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter provides support to a visit, board, search and sei...

Mideast US Navy Iran

In this Jan. 5, 2012 photo released by the US Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) responds to a distress call from the master of t...

Just days after Iranian leaders warned the U.S. to keeps its aircraft carriers out of the Persian Gulf, a U.S. Navy ship that had just finished operations in the Gulf rescued an Iranian fishing boat that had been commandeered by suspected Somali pirates.
U.S. Navy officials said American forces flying by helicopter off the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd responded to a distress call from the Iranian ship, the Al Molai, which had been held captive by pirates for more than 40 days.
A U.S. Navy team boarded the ship Thursday and detained 15 pirates who had been holding the 13-member Iranian crew hostage and were using the vessel as a "mother ship" for pirating operations in the Persian Gulf.
The rescue came amid escalating threats from Tehran, including assertions by Iran's army chief that American vessels are not welcome in the Gulf. Iran has also warned that it could block the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic waterway that carries to market much of the oil pumped in the Middle East.
The Iranian threats were in response to strong economic sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear enrichment program. Last week, President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions targeting Iran's Central Bank and its ability to sell petroleum abroad.
According to the Navy, the USS Kidd was part of the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, which had recently gone through the Strait into the northern Arabian Sea.
A Navy search and seizure team was taken by helicopter from the USS Kidd to the Al Molai and met no resistance from the pirates, who surrendered quickly.
"The Al Molai had been taken over by pirates for roughly the last 40-45 days," said Josh Schminky, a Navy Criminal Investigative Service agent aboard the Kidd. "They were held hostage, with limited rations, and we believe were forced against their will to assist the pirates with other piracy operations."
The U.S. team gave the crew food, water and medical care and transferred the captured pirates to the USS Stennis, where they remain.
"The Captain of the Al Molai expressed his sincere gratitude that we came to assist them. He was afraid that without our help, they could have been there for months," said Schminky in a prepared release.


Updated : 2021-03-07 16:39 GMT+08:00