US Navy Ship Fires Warning Shot at Iranian Vessel in Persian Gulf

Lucy Bush
July 26, 2017

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.

It wasn't until the warning shots were fired that the Iranian craft halted its approach, the Navy said.

IRGC later blamed the American ship for provoking the incident.

According to navy.mil, the USS Thunderbolt is a Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship.

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After warnings from the USA ship, including radio calls, Navy officials ordered the firing of flares and blasts from the ship's whistle and warning shots from the Thunderbolt's 50-caliber machine gun, an official said.

In reply the IRGC third naval zone said that its forces neutralized the U.S. vessel's provocative move.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity as the incident had yet to be made public.

The Iranian vessel was from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the statement said, adding that it stopped its unsafe approach after the warning shots were fired.

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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.

The Iranian government has been critical of the USA for holding Iranian citizens in its jails as well.

A spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Lt. Ian McConnaughey, told Military.com that the shots were fired from one of the Thunderbolt's two.50-caliber machine guns and they were limited in number. It became a propaganda coup for Iran's hard-liners, as Iranian state television repeatedly aired footage of the Americans on their knees, their hands on their heads. They in turn have accused the U.S. Navy of unprofessional behavior, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil trade by sea passes.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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