US Navy fires warning shots at Iranian ship in Gulf — BBCI

BREAKING NEWS: US Navy patrol boat fires warning shots at Iranian naval ship after it comes within 150 YARDS during 'tense encounter' in the Persian Gulf

A U.S. Navy ship patrolling in the Persian Gulf fired warning shots at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard ship after it got too close to the vessel, a U.S. defense official confirmed to VOA Tuesday.

The incident happened at 3am local time today and involved the USS Thunderbolt, a Cyclone-class ship involved in an exercise with American and other vessels in the area. And in August, the USS Squall fired warning shots into waters ahead of a speeding Iranian boat to warn the small craft that it had come within 200 yards of the US ship.

The U.S. ship, the USS Thunderbolt, is a U.S. patrol ship.

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The Iranian vessel is thought to have been part of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and is believed to have been armed, although the U.S. said the weapons were unmanned. But serious differences remain over Iran's ballistic missile programme and conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

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

The USS Thunderbolt fired shots from.50-caliber machine gun, according to Fox News.

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Back in June, the USA claimed an Iranian boat aimed a laser on a US helicopter accompanying a formation of American ships in the Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

Naval incidents with Iran are not entirely unusual, though ones involving shots fired are. The action was described by the US military as "unsafe and unprofessional".

The incident is the latest in a series of close encounters between ships from the U.S. and Iran.

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The warning shots come as tensions between the two countries have heightened, spurred on in part by anti-Iran rhetoric from President Donald Trump. The Iranians ignored several warnings from the American boat, including via radio.

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