The Pentagon have said that up to 10 US Navy sailors are being detained after two small US boats appeared in Iranian territorial waters.
US officials said it was unclear how the crew members ended up in Iranian waters, although an earlier report said that at least one vessel had become disabled and drifted there.
According to a report by the New York Times, an anonymous official said the two boats apparently grounded when one of them suffered a mechanical breakdown.
The boats are in Iranian custody though Iran has said the crew will be returned soon
A Pentagon spokesman told the Associated Press they lost contact with the vessels as they moved through the Gulf between Kuwait and Bahrain.
“We have been in contact with Iran and have received assurances that the crew and the vessels will be returned promptly,” the spokesman Peter Cook told AP.
Reuters: White House working to resolve situation with Navy boats in Iranian custody, wants US personnel returned
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) January 12, 2016
An anonymous senior official said that John Kerry was “personally engaged with” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to work out a solution almost immediately after hearing about the incident at around 12:30 pm EST.
Sky news reports:
Up to 10 US Navy sailors have been detained by Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces, senior US military officials said, after at least one vessel became disabled and drifted into Iranian territorial waters, but his was contradicted by a later report
The US sailors are being held on Farsi Island, a small island in the Persian Gulf that is home to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard base.
A senior Obama administration official said: “Earlier today, we lost contact with two small US naval craft en route from Kuwait to Bahrain.
“We subsequently have been in communication with Iranian authorities, who have informed us of the safety and well-being of our personnel.
“We have received assurances the sailors will promptly be allowed to continue their journey.”
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