Two US Navy Ships Carrying 10 Soldiers Are Being Held By The Iranian Government
Two US Navy boats carrying 10 American soldiers were seized in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday after possibly drifting into Iranian waters, NBC reports. The boats, and the soldiers, are being detained at Farsi Island by Iranian military troops.
According to reports, the soldiers were training at sea when one of the boats may have experienced mechanical failure. It's believed both vessels could have drifted into Iranian territory, where they were seized by the nation's coast guard.
Though the nine male soldiers and one female soldier are currently being detained, Iranian authorities have confirmed they are safe. They will be released into American custody soon, though officials have not specified when.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters,
We have been in contact with Iran and have received assurances that the crew and the vessels will be returned promptly.
Some, including retired Army General Barry McCaffrey, are criticizing the seizure as a failure on the part of the American government. In an interview, he said,
We simply can't allow ground, air or naval units to be seized by a foreign hostile power… This is an affront to our military presence in the Gulf and will unsettle our allies in the region.
Insiders say officials first lost contact with the boats around noon as they were passing between Kuwait and Bahrain. Contact was not re-established prior to the soldiers' capture.