U.S. defense officials said on Monday, that warning Shots were fired by a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz , when four vessels of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) approached at high speed on Sunday.
The officials said that the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer was escorting two other U.S. Navy ships at the time of the incident. According to the officials, who preferred to remain anonymous ,USS Mahan initiated communications with the Iranian vessels requesting them to reduce speed. However, the destroyer’s calls were answered by continuous questions and the boats maintained their high rate of approach. The Mahan fired warning flares and a patrolling U.S. Navy helicopter even deployed a smoke float to no avail.
The Iranians broke off when three warning shots were fired at them at a range of around 900 yards (800 meters).
The Iranian government has not made any comment regarding the incident.
President-elect Donald Trump declared in September that any Iranian vessel that threatens U.S. Navy assets in the Gulf would be “shot out of the water.” Trump’s inauguration into the presidency will take place on January 20.
Sunday’s confrontation was not the first such incident. Several similar incidents have happened with the latest occurring in August, when an IRGC fast-attack boat received warning shots from a U.S. warship it approached.
The warning shots from the Mahan was only one of seven encounters the destroyer experienced with Iranian military vessels during the weekend. The other incidents were minor, the official added.