US Vessel Fires Warning Shots at Iranian Boats
A US Navy destroyer on Sunday fired three warning shots at four Iranian fast-attack vessels near the Strait of Hormuz after they closed in at high speed and disregarded repeated requests to slow down, US officials claimed on Monday. “This was an unsafe and unprofessional interaction, and that is due to the fact that they were approaching at a high level of speed with weapons manned and disregarding repeated warnings,” Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, alleged in a briefing, Reuters reported. The warning shots were fired at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps boats by the USS Mahan after it established radio contact but failed to get them to slow down, Davis claimed, confirming earlier accounts of US defense officials. Those officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the Iranian vessels came within 900 yards (800 meters) of the US destroyer, which was escorting two other military ships. The Mahan also fired flares and a US Navy helicopter also dropped a smoke float before the warning shots, they said. The White House said the Iranian vessels had behaved in an unacceptable manner and that such incidents risked increasing tensions. In response, Iranian military authorities said any foreign intrusion in the country’s territorial waters will not be tolerated.