On May 10th, a US Coast Guard warship fired 30 warning shots at 13 Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) “fast boats” that reportedly approached it in the Strait of Hormuz.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that after the Iranian vessels didn’t heed a warning call, the US warship was forced to fire warning shots.
During a briefing today at the Pentagon, Kirby said it was six U.S. Navy vessels that were escorting the guided missile submarine USS Georgia which were involved in the incident.
“This group of fast attack boats approached the U.S. formation at high speed, closing in as close as 150 yards,” Kirby said. “After following all the appropriate and established procedures involving ships: horn blast, bridge-to-bridge radio transmissions and other ways of communicating, the [U.S.] Coast Guard Cutter Maui … fired approximately 30 warning shots from a 50 caliber machine gun. After the second round of warning shots, the 13 fast-attack craft from the IRGCN broke contact.”
Unsafe and Unprofessional Interaction with IRGCN FIAC in Strait of Hormuz
Video by NAVCENT Public Affairs pic.twitter.com/CoVIy9OagY
— Dylan Malyasov (@DylanMalyasov) May 11, 2021
Kirby said the Coast Guard cutter fired warning shots while the IRGCN ships were at the 300-yard mark and then again when they were at the 150-yard mark.
The US 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 the number of Iranian vessels was more than in the recent past.
“After the second round of warning shots the 13 fast attack craft from the IRGCN broke contact,” he said, ending the encounter.
Just a day earlier, the USS Monterey intercepted an arms shipment aboard a dhow in the Persian Sea allegedly headed for Yemen, where the Houthis are fighting against the Saudi-led coalition.
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.
The latest incident comes as world powers and Iran seek to speed up efforts to bring Washington and Tehran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord.
In the week ending on May 9th, U.S. officials returned to Vienna for a fourth round of indirect talks with Iran on salvaging the Nuclear Deal.
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