Washington (CNN)A US Coast Guard ship fired approximately 30 warning shots as a “large group” of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy fast boats conducted “unsafe and unprofessional maneuvers” near US naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz on Monday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
Six US Navy vessels were escorting a guided missile submarine, the USS Georgia, when they encountered a group of 13 IRGCN “fast attack boats,” Kirby told reporters. The boats approached the US Navy vessels “at high speed,” coming as close as within 150 yards.
After the US tried “all the appropriate and established procedures involving hip blasts, bridge to bridge radio transmission and other ways of communicating,” US Coast Guard Cutter Maui fired approximately 30 warning shots, Kirby said. Following the second round of warning shots, the IRGCN fast boats “broke contact.”
The episode follows a string of recent incidents between Iranian boats and US warships. Last month, Iran’s Navy came within 68 yards of US ships operating in the Persian Gulf. And earlier in April, four IRGC ships, including three fast attack craft and a support vessel, came within 70 yards of two Coast Guard cutters.
“Sadly, harassment by the IRGC navy is not a new phenomenon,” Kirby acknowledge
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