US Navy ship fires warning shots at Iranian boat

| Updated: Jul 26, 2017 09:39 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], July 26 (ANI): A US Navy ship fired warning shots at an armed Iranian patrol boat on Tuesday, in the northern end of the Persian Gulf after the latter came within 150 yards of the vessel. Citing two US defense officials, the CNN reported that the Iranian boat is believed to have been operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The officials said the Iranian boat approached and came within 150 yards of the USS Thunderbolt, a US Navy patrol ship. The USS Thunderbolt was accompanied by the USS Vella Gulf, which is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, and two other US Coast guard vessels at the time. According to the report, the Iranians did not respond to any warnings from the US ship, including radio calls, firing of flares and five short blasts from the US Navy ship's whistle. Following this the Navy ship then fired warning shots into the water over concerns about the possibility of a collision. Meanwhile, Iran's Revolutionary Guard is claiming that it "foiled the US warship's provocative move against an Iranian Navy patrol boat in the Persian Gulf," according to a statement published by Iran's official news agency IRNA. The statement alleged that the US warship aimed to instigate and frighten the Iranian boat by firing two warning shots. This isn't the first time two sides have had a tense encounter in the Persian Gulf. In June, the US military labeled the actions of an Iranian vessel "unsafe and unprofessional" after it trained a laser on a US helicopter that was accompanying a formation of American ships transiting the international waters of the Strait of Hormuz. Pentagon spokesman US Navy Capt. Jeff Davis previously told reporters that there had been 35 incidents of unsafe or unprofessional behavior by Iranian vessels in 2016. (ANI)