The US Navy soldiers on vessels captured in Iranian water have been released according to Iranian media. The AP reports that both the US and Iran have confirmed the release of the 10 sailors who had been intercepted by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and taken to Farsi Island, where they were kept and interrogated.
The Navy said the crew were “returned safely and there was no indications they had been harmed while in custody.”
انتشار نخستین تصاویر از دستگیری تفنگداران دریایی امریکایی pic.twitter.com/KSNWEiaKgl
— روزنامه شرق (@SharghDaily) January 13, 2016
Official photos of the detainees and the boats involved in the incident
Barbara Starr, CNN’s Pentagon Correspondent, stated that the US government believes one of the two boats involved in the incident could have experienced a mechanical failure leading it into Iranian territorial waters, with the other boat following it to not leave the soldiers behind.
According to the AP, Gen. Ali Fadavi, the navy chief of the IRGC, released the results of an investigation of the boats to have shown a “mechanical problems in their navigation system” on Iranian TV.
Yesterday evening the Pentagon released a statement that Iranian authorities have assured US officials that the soldiers and their boats would be freed to continue their journey from Kuwait to Bahrain. A senior defense official says that the US has “been in communication with Iranian authorities, who have informed us of the safety and well-being of our personnel […] We have received assurances the sailors will promptly be allowed to continue their journey.”
Key facts, according to Harvard’s Belfer Center and CNN