A United States Coast Guard ship fired about 30 warning shots at a group of 13 Iranian vessels that “failed to heed warnings to move away at a safe distance,” the Pentagon said on May 10.
According to the Pentagon, the 13 fast boats from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) of Iran approached six U.S. Navy vessels that were escorting missile submarine USS Georgie in the Strait of Hormuz.
“This group of fast attack boats approached the U.S. formation at high speed, closing in as close as 150 yards,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said during a press briefing, describing the IRGCN as “acting very aggressively” during the encounter.
Kirby said that the U.S. ship fired the warning shots after “following all the appropriate and established procedures,” including horn blast and bridge-to-bridge radio transmissions.
Kirby described the response of the U.S. ship to the IRGCN vessels as “appropriate for the situation” as U.S. ship crew “have the right of self-defense and they know how to use that right.”
“Sadly, harassment by the IRGC Navy is not a new phenomenon,” Kirby said.
“It’s unsafe. It’s unprofessional. It’s the kind of activity that can lead to somebody getting hurt, and can lead to a real miscalculation there in the region, and that doesn’t serve anybody’s interests,” Kirby said.
The U.S. encounter with the Iranian vessels follows a similar incident last April 26 when the U.S. Navy fired warning shots at three IRGCN fast-attack boats that approached U.S. vessels in close range even after warnings over the radio.
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