U.S. destroyer fires warning shots at 5 Iranian boats near Strait of Hormuz

by WorldTribune Staff, January 10, 2017

A U.S. destroyer fired warning shots when five Iranian vessels approached it and two other American ships in the Strait of Hormuz on Jan. 8.

The latest in a series of incidents between U.S. and Iranian ships saw the Iranian boats come “within 900 yards or so” of the USS Mahan and two other American ships that were entering the strait, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said.

The USS Mahan. /U.S. Navy

The Mahan fired warning shots and used radio calls, flares, bells and whistles to signal to the Iranian vessels to stay away. There was no response to the radio calls. A U.S. helicopter overhead dropped smoke grenades.

In September, the U.S. Navy said that Iran had threatened two American maritime patrol aircraft flying over the Strait of Hormuz.

A week prior to that incident, a U.S. Navy patrol ship was forced to change course after a fast attack craft from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) came within 91 meters of it in the central Persian Gulf.

In late August it was revealed that a U.S. Navy coastal patrol ship fired three warning shots at an Iranian ship that sailed within 200 yards of it in the Northern Persian Gulf.

Davis said there had been “a total of 35” such encounters in 2016 “that were assessed to be unsafe and unprofessional,” and he added that “the vast majority of those were in the first half of 2016.”

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