Iran's Guards blame U.S. ship for warning shots incident in Gulf

US Coast Guard ship fired around 30 warning shots at Iranian fast boats in latest tense encounter

US Coast Guard ship fired around 30 warning shots at Iranian fast boats in latest tense encounter

The US had earlier said the warning shots were fired after more than a dozen Iranian fast attack boats buzzed close to a US Navy submarine and escort ships in the narrow Strait of Hormuz on Monday.

"They were acting very aggressively", Kirby said of the Iranians.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the warning shots were fired after the Iranian fast boats came as close as 150 yards (450 feet) of six U.S. military vessels, including the USS Monterey, that were escorting the guided-missile submarine Georgia.

The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Maui fired two warning-shot volleys from its.50-caliber machine gun at the two speed boats after they ignored acoustic device warnings - horn blasts and bridge-to-bridge radio communications from the American vessels. "So it's not insignificant", he added. "That doesn't serve anybody's interests".

FILE - USS Monterey in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, June 7, 2011.

The 13 fast boats belonging to the Iranian paramilitary group, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), were carrying out "unsafe and unprofessional" maneuvers, the Pentagon said.

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Prior to the April encounter, it had been almost four years since the last time that US ships fired warning shots against Iranian boats when the Thunderbolt did so to warn off a Revolutionary Guard vessel in July 2017 that came within 68 yards of it, according to an Associated Press.

In April, a U.S. military ship fired warning shots after three vessels from IRGCN came close to it and another American patrol boat in the Gulf.

In an attempt to de-escalate the situation, U.S. crews issued multiple warnings to both groups of Iranian boats, including repeated bridge-to-bridge verbal warnings, said Navy Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Navy 5th Fleet spokesperson.

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.

Despite the concern, USA defense and military officials have been hesitant to lay blame on the Iranian government. "It is something that all our commanding officers and crews of our vessels are trained for when serving in the [U.S.] Central Command area of responsibility, particularly in and around the Gulf". "Rather (they are) irresponsible actions by local commanders on the scene". "Luckily, our guys are pretty good".

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