US says Navy ship fired warning shots at Iranian vessels
  • Mon, 01/09/2017 10:20 PM

Monday, two US defense officials disclosed of a US Navy destroyer firing three warning shots on Sunday at four Iranian fast-attack vessels when they closed in at a high rate of speed near the Strait of Hormuz. US President-elect Donald Trump who will assume office on January 20th had previously vowed of shooting any Iranian vessels out of the water that would harass the US Navy in the Gulf.

Speaking anonymously, the officials stated that despite the USS Mahan establishing radio communication with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats, they did not heed to requests to slow down and continued asking Mahan questions. This led to the US Navy destroyer firing warning flares and even a US Navy helicopter dropping a smoke float before firing the warning shots. The Iranian vessels had reached within a 900 yard vicinity of the Mahan, which was escorting two other US military ships.

No comments have yet come from either IRGC or the Trump transition team. Though age old animosity between Tehran and Washington eased after the nuclear deal last year leading to lifting of sanctions, serious differences still exist over Iran's ballistic missile program as well as conflicts in Syria and Iraq. One official admitted of such incidents happening occasionally. In last August, another US Navy ship had also fired warning shots at an Iranian fast-attack craft that approached two US ships. In January 2016, Iran freed 10 US sailors after briefly detaining them in the Gulf. He called the latest Sunday episode one of the seven interactions the Mahan had with Iranian vessels over the weekend, though the others were judged to be safe.

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