USA military ship fires 30 warning shots after encounter with Iranian vessels

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 11, 2021

A US Coast Guard cutter on Monday fired dozens of warning shots to fend off multiple Iranian attack boats in the Strait of Hormuz, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

The encounters come as the United States and Iran are in indirect talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the USA left in 2018.

The Revolutionary Guards' navy confirmed it had encountered seven United States vessels in the incident, but said it warned them "while maintaining the legal distance. against their risky and unprofessional behaviour, after which they continued on their way". "It's the kind of activity that can lead to somebody getting hurt, and can lead to a real miscalculation there in the region", he said.

The USS Firebolt, a navy patrol ship, fired warning shots at a group of three IRGCN fast boats back on April 27, after encountering them in the North Arabian Sea.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby accused the Iranian boats of "acting very aggressively" near the USA military vessels, which were escorting USS Georgia, a guided-missile submarine.

Once a regular occurrence, Iran's harassment of American Navy ships in the Persian Gulf had ceased over the past year until an April 2 incident involving Iranian boats that swarmed two U.S. Coast Guard cutters.

"There was a volley at roughly the 300-yard mark and then another volley of warning shots as they got into one hundred and fifty yards", Kirby said. The six Navy escort ships included the guided missile cruiser USS Monterey.

"It's significant. and they were acting very aggressively", he said, adding that the number of Iranian vessels was more than in the recent past.

With the USA ships sandwiched between the two groups of Iranian boats, the Maui and Squall attempted to use "all the appropriate and established procedures", such as horn blasts and bridge-to-bridge radio transmission before resorting to the warning shots, Kirby said. The two then sped toward some of the USA ships.

In late April, three Iranian fast inshore attack craft provoked warning shots when they came close to two USA vessels in worldwide waters in the northern part of the Gulf, it said.

Before opening fire, United States crews issued multiple warnings to the Iranian vessels, including bridge-to-bridge verbal messages, acoustic device signals and five short blasts of the ship's horn, the internationally recognized danger signal.

The two Iranian boats then "altered course and increased their distance from the USA forces", Rebarich said.

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