Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Iranian forces this week boarded a civilian tanker in international waters in the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said.
According to a Thursday-morning press release and video released by NAVCENT, an Iranian Sea King helicopter hovered above Motor Tanker Wila on Wednesday and Iranian personnel descended from it and boarded the ship.
NAVCENT also said there were two Iranian ships in the vicinity of the incident, which was monitored by Coalition Task Force Sentinel, the operational arm of the International Maritime Security Construct.
"Iran's use of its military forces to conduct an armed boarding of a commercial vessel in international waters constitutes a blatant violation of international law that undermines freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce," said NAVCENT's statement.
"We call on Iran to articulate to the international community the legal basis for its actions," NAVCENT said. "This type of reckless, aggressive behavior by Iran destabilizes the region and threatens the rules based international order."
According to NAVCENT, Wila's crew did not issue any calls for help.
U.S. officials have not offered a reason for the seizure, and Iran has not acknowledged the incident or offered a reason.