U.S. Vessel Fires Warning Shots After Encounter With Iranian Fast Boats

A U.S. Coast Guard ship fired some 30 warning shots after 13 boats from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) came close to it and other American Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, the Pentagon said on May 10.

It was the second time over the past month that U.S. military vessels had to fire warning shots because of what they said was unsafe behavior by Iranian vessels in the region, after a relative lull in such interactions over the past year.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the warning shots were fired after the Iranian fast boats came as close as 150 meters from six U.S. military vessels, including the USS Monterey, which were escorting the guided-missile submarine Georgia.

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Maui fired the warning shots from a .50-caliber machine gun before the Iranian vessels left, Kirby said.

“It’s significant… and they were acting very aggressively,” he said, adding that there had been more Iranian vessels involved this time than in other incidents in the recent past.

Last month, a U.S. military ship fired warning shots after three Iranian vessels came close to it and another American patrol boat in the Gulf.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP