Iranian IRGC navy ‘harassed’ US military ships in the Gulf

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IRGC vessels buzzing past US military ships. (US Navy photo)
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IRGC vessels buzzing past US military ships. (US Navy photo)
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IRGC vessels buzzing past US military ships. (US Navy photo)
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Updated 19 April 2020

Iranian IRGC navy ‘harassed’ US military ships in the Gulf

  • The US military said in a statement the Iranian ships approached six US military ships

WASHINGTON: Eleven vessels from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to US military ships in the Gulf, the US military said on Wednesday, calling the moves "dangerous and provocative."
The US military said in a statement the Iranian ships approached six US military ships while they were conducting integration operations with Army helicopters in international waters. At one point, the Iranian vessels came as close at 10 yards to the US Coast Guard cutter Maui.
The US ships issued multiple warnings through bridge-to-bridge radio, blasts from the ships' horns and long range acoustic noise maker devices. The Iranian ships left after about an hour, the statement added.


Palestinian cyclists say attacked by Israeli settlers after trail app led them astray

Updated 22 July 2020

Palestinian cyclists say attacked by Israeli settlers after trail app led them astray

  • Komoot led them east toward a rocky path near the Israeli settlement of Shilo

RAMALLAH: A group of Palestinian cyclists say they were attacked by Israelis in the occupied West Bank after a popular trail app landed them on a remote path dotted with Jewish settlements.
Avid cyclist Amer Kurdi set out on Saturday with his brother and three others on what was supposed to be an 80-km (50-mile) ride, using the cycling, hiking, and mountain biking app Komoot to chart a path north from the Palestinian village of Birzeit.
The West Bank, captured by Israel in a 1967 war, is scattered with Israeli settlements which its 3 million Palestinians mostly cannot enter, as well as checkpoints and military bases that Israel says it needs for its security.
Over an hour into their ride, Kurdi said Komoot led them east toward a rocky path near the Israeli settlement of Shilo. He said a group of Hebrew-speaking men, whom the cyclists later took to be Israeli settlers, approached and asked where they were from.
Kurdi, 30, replied that they were from the Palestinian city of Ramallah. Soon after, the men — Kurdi estimates there were five or six — started throwing stones at them, using T-shirts to hide their faces, Kurdi and his brother, Samer, said.
“The others managed to run away, but I tripped and fell,” Samer, 28, said. “When I got up, a settler was behind me, and he started beating me with a metal rod.”
Photos the cyclists took after the incident, which they reported to Israel’s police, show Samer’s legs and arms bruised and bloodied.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said they are investigating.
Palestinians complain that navigation apps fail to grasp the West Bank’s complexity.
Asked for comment, Komoot said it regretted the incident but that its service is not specifically optimized for route planning “through areas of political unrest.”
Amer Kurdi says the incident will not keep him from cycling.
“I’ll wear a camera. I’ll be more careful when using apps,” he said.
“But we won’t stop. We will stand up for our right to bike.”