“Regarding the arrest of American sailors, they (the US) attempted to free their sailors forcefully by using their F-18 fighter jets,” General Ali Reza Sabahi-Fard said in a speech on Wednesday.
However, the commander added, after the Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base issued warning alerts, the US fighter jets were forced to retreat.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy on January 12, 2016 captured the US Navy sailors inside Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, but released them the next day following an apology and after technical and operational investigations indicated that the intrusion into Iranian territorial waters was “unintentional”.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter later said he was “very, very angry” when he saw footage of 10 US Navy sailors detained by Iranian authorities broadcast by Iranian television.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei awarded Medals of Fath (Conquest) to Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi and four other IRGC commanders who made the “courageous and timely” move to capture the intruding American boats and sailors near Iran’s Farsi Island.