Bab al-Mandab, Yemen
4 June 2023

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command reported that U.S. and UK vessels, supported by a patrol aircraft, had “responded to a distress call from a merchant vessel transiting the Strait of Hormuz, June 4, as Iranian [IRGC Navy] fast-attack boats harassed the commercial ship”. “The situation deescalated approximately an hour later when the merchant vessel confirmed the fast-attack craft departed the scene”, the statement added, further highlighting: “U.S. 5th Fleet remains vigilant and is bolstering defence around the key strait with partners to enhance regional maritime security and stability”. The IRGC Navy denied the report, claiming that after receiving a distress call from a Marshall Islands-flagged merchant vessel, “the command and control center of Iran at the Hormuz Strait… resolved the ship’s concerns about the presence of [three] non-military light boats near it”.

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