Iran Say Warned US Navy Over "Unprofessional Behaviour"

Iran Say Warned US Navy Over

The Iranian vessels left after 30 warning shots were fired, the Pentagon said.

Monday's incident is the second instance in recent weeks of the US Navy resorting to warning shots to defuse altercations with IRGC boats in the Persian Gulf.

A US navy coast guard ship fired off two salvos of machine-gun fire as a warning to rapidly approaching Iranian boats in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday, the US Defense Ministry said.

According to Kirby, a group of six US vessels, including the guided missile cruiser USS Monterey, had been escorting the guided missile submarine USS Georgia into the strait when the Iranian boats approached them "at a very fast speed ... acting very aggressively". "It's the kind of activity that can lead to somebody getting hurt, and can lead to a real miscalculation there in the region", he said.

It fired another volley when the Iranian boats got within 150 yards.

The US Fifth Fleet said in a statement that two of the 13 IRGCN vessels broke away from the larger group, transited to the opposite side of the US formation and approached Maui and the patrol coastal ship Squall from behind at a high rate of speed (in excess of 32 knots) with their weapons uncovered and manned.

In an attempt to de-escalate the situation, United States crews issued multiple warnings to both groups of Iranian boats, including repeated bridge-to-bridge verbal warnings, said Navy Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Navy 5th Fleet spokesperson.

In April, a United States military ship fired warning shots after three vessels from IRGCN came close to it and another American patrol boat in the Gulf.

A Revolutionary Guards statement accused USA naval ships of "unprofessional behaviour such as flying helicopters, firing flares and aimless and provocative shooting".

"It's an global waterway and of course when you're in the strait, there are certain limits to your ability to maneuver", Kirby said. "I mean, it is a choke point in the region".

The Navy released black-and-white footage of that encounter in worldwide waters of the northern reaches of the Persian Gulf near Kuwait, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

"I think we've seen now in this second incident, (commanders) are very stringent about following the proper procedures for providing warnings verbally first, and then if need be, through the use of warning shots to try to change and to mitigate the Iranian behavior".

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said "harassment" by the IRGV Navy is "not new".

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