US destroyer opens fire to warn off approaching Iranian ships
WASHINGTON – A U.S. destroyer opened fire Sunday to warn off a group of Iranian ships fast-approaching the American vessel in the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said Monday.
Four vessels of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy sped quickly toward the USS Mahan as the ship cruised through the strait, which is the entrance to the Persian Gulf, said Cmdr. Bill Urban, a spokesman for Naval Forces Central Command.
The Iranian vessels ignored “multiple radio and visual warnings” to remain clear of the Mahan, Urban said. “Mahan then fired three warning shots with a crew-served 50-caliber machine gun, and the [Iranian] vessels arrested their high-speed approach.”
Naval Forces Central Command called the interaction “unsafe and unprofessional” because of the Iranian vessels' high-speed approach on Mahan with weapons manned and their disregard for repeated warnings “via radio, audible siren and ship's whistle,” he said. “[The Iranians] only arrested following warning shots being fired.”
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