US Navy ship fires warning shots at Iranian vessel

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 25, 2017

An American defense official says a U.S. Navy patrol boat fired warning shots near an Iranian naval ship during a tense encounter in the Persian Gulf.

After the US ship fired the warning shots, the Iranian vessel stopped, the official said, at which point the Thunderbolt continued on her way.

A US Navy ship fired warning shots at an armed Iranian patrol boat Tuesday in the northern end of the Persian Gulf, according to two US defense officials.

Following the warning shots the Iranian ship ceased its provocative actions, but did still linger in the area for some hours, one of the officials told CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr.

The episode marks the latest in a series of close encounters between USA ships and Iranian naval vessels.

The USS Thunderbolt recently conducted live fire drills on July 20th with the US cruiser, the USS Lake Erie, and patrol ships, the USS Tempest, USS Chinook, USS Squall and USS Firebolt.

In April, the USA accused an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ship of acting in an "unprofessional but also provocative" manner while approaching an American destroyer, the USS Mahan, while it was sailing in the Persian Gulf. The two crews, nine men and a woman, were briefly detained on Farsi Island.

Iran and the USA frequently have tense naval encounters in the Persian Gulf. When the Iranian boat failed to respond, the Thunderbolt fired warning shots from its 50-caliber machine gun, which prompted the Iranian boat to change course and leave the vicinity.

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