Thirteen Iranian Attack Vessels Harass U.S. Warships Which Fire 30 Warning Shots
STRAIT OF HORMUZ - According to the Department of Defense 13 Iranian Revolutionary Guard fast attack craft harassed six United States warships in the Strait of Hormuz, causing U.S. ships to fire 30 warning shots.
The U.S. 5th Fleet stationed at Bahrain stated, "Two of the 13 IRGCN vessels broke away from the larger group, transited to the opposite side of the U.S. formation and approached Maui and Squall from behind at a high rate of speed (in excess of 32 knots) with their weapons uncovered and manned".
The U.S. warships gave warnings verbally as well as used five acoustic devices to issue warnings to the Iranian fast attack craft. When that didn't work, they honked the ship's horn and then as the Iranian ships began to charge the U.S.warships at high speed the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Maui fired off warning shots.
It took two warning shot volleys to finally make the Iranian vessels break away. Department of Defense John Kirby said that the Iranian vessels "approached the U.S. formation at high speed, closing in as close as 150 yards." and stated that the IRGCN vessels pulled "unsafe and unprofessional maneuvers [that] failed to exercise due regard for the safety of U.S. forces as required under international law."
This is the second time that United States ships have had to fire warning shots at Iranian fast attack ships in the last two weeks. Early last April there was a Third Incident of the same kind.
The latest harassment comes just a few days after the USS Monterey, (one of the vessels being harassed by Iranian ships in this incident) seized thousands of Chinese and Russian weapons from a ship allegedly sent by Iran that was suspected to be bound for Yemen to support the Houthi rebels.