WASHINGTON – A US Coast Guard cutter fired about 30 warning shots after a large group of Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboats came close to US Navy ships in the Strait of Hormuz, the Pentagon said Monday.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said USCG Maui fired two volleys of .50 machine guns on Monday when 13 IRGC speedboats were operating “in unsafe and unprofessional fashion in close proximity” to six US ships, including the U Boat USS Georgia.
The Maui fired its first volley when the Iranian speedboats approached within 300 meters and the second when they approached within 150 meters. After the second volley, Kirby said, the IRGC ships left.
The incident came just days after the US intercepted thousands of weapons from Iran destined for the Houthi rebels in Yemen in the North Arabian Sea.
In April there were two tense incidents between US and Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf.
On April 27, a U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots near three IRGC boats less than 70 meters away. On April 2, IRGC ships repeatedly cruised in front of US Coast Guard ships at close range over a period of three hours.
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow body of water that connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman between Iran on the one hand and the United Arab Emirates and Oman on the other.