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US Military Fires Dozens of Shots in Response to Iranian Ships Acting 'Very Aggressively'

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter fired warning shots on Monday at vessels belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy after they swarmed American vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, the Department of Defense said.

The Pentagon said 13 so-called “fast boats” failed to heed warnings and were fired upon, according to a Department of Defense news release.

“It’s significant … and they were acting very aggressively,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said, according to Reuters.

Kirby said the incident took place as six American vessels were escorting the guided-missile submarine USS Georgia.

“This group of fast attack boats approached the U.S. formation at high speed, closing in as close as 150 yards,” Kirby said.

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“After following all the appropriate and established procedures involving ships: horn blast, bridge-to-bridge radio transmissions and other ways of communicating, the Coast Guard Cutter Maui … fired approximately 30 warning shots from a 50 caliber machine gun. After the second round of warning shots, the 13 fast-attack craft from the IRGCN broke contact,” he added.

The Maui fired while the threatening vessels were 300 yards away and then again when they were 150 yards distant.

Kirby said harassment from Iranian ships is not new.

“Harassment by the IRGC Navy is not a new phenomenon,” he said. “It is something that all our commanding officers and crews of our vessels are trained … for when serving in the Central Command area of responsibility, particularly in and around the Gulf.”

He said the U.S. made an appropriate response.

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“Our commanding officers and crew of our ships — they have the right of self-defense and they know how to use that right,” he said.

“They have the means at their disposal to defend their ships and their crews and they also, as I think we’ve seen now in this second incident, 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 or mitigate the Iranian behavior.”

Monday’s episode is similar to an April 26 incident in which three Iranian boats approached U.S. Navy vessels. In that incident, the USS Firebolt fired warning shots to chase away the Iranians.

“This kind of activity is the kind of activity that could lead to somebody getting hurt, and could lead to a real miscalculation in the region, and that doesn’t serve anybody’s interests,” Kirby said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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