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Iranian drone buzzes US fighter jet in Persian Gulf

Picture from the US Navy website taken on September 3, 2013 shows a jet landing on the USS Nimitz in the Red Sea
Kelly M. Agee (Navy Media Content Services/AFP/File)

An Iranian drone came within 100 feet (30 meters) of a United States fighter jet while it was landing an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, officials told media outlets on Tuesday.

The drone, which reportedly appeared unarmed, caused a US Navy F/A-18E jet to repeatedly manouver to avoid a collision as it attempted to land on the USS Nimitz, CNN reported. 

The unmanned vehicle did not change course despite Navy personnel emitting a radio call around its vicinity ordering whoever was controlling it to back off.

"The dangerous maneuver by the QOM-1 in the known vicinity of fixed-wing flight operations and at coincident altitude with operating aircraft created a collision hazard and is not in keeping with international maritime customs and laws," US Naval Forces Central Command spokesman Commander Bill Urban said.

He added this was the 13th "unsafe and/or unprofessional" interaction between US and Iranian maritime forces this year.

In July, a US Navy patrol ship fired warning shots at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boat in the Gulf as it closed in on the American vessel.

Sometimes deadly encounters between US and Iranian military units in the oil-rich Gulf have occurred frequently since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and since the US presence in the region bloomed during the first and second Gulf Wars. 

(Staff with agencies)

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