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Iranian navy helicopter flies within 25 yards of USS Essex

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WASHINGTON — An Iranian navy helicopter on Thursday flew within 25 yards of the USS Essex, which was cruising through international waters in the Gulf of Oman, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday.

The state-owned helicopter flew close to the ship’s port side and, at one point, “as low as about 10 feet off the surface of the ocean,” Kirby said.

The helicopter circled the 820-foot-long ship three times before leaving. The Essex is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.

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