A U.S. Navy warship sailed near two contested islands in the South China Sea on Sunday, U.S. defense officials said.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur conducted a freedom of navigation operation Sunday as it sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands, a U.S. official told Fox News.

The Pentagon describes such freedom of navigation missions, which are meant to enforce the right of free passage for U.S. vessels in international waters, as “routine” operations.

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