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US Coast Guard Fires Warning Shots At Approaching Iranian Boats In Strait Of Hormuz

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The Pentagon said its guard vessels thwarted a number of Iranian "fast attack boats" that were approaching guided missile submarine, the USS Georgia, in the Strait of Hormuz.

On Monday, 13 "fast boats" with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy dangerously approached U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels that were operating in the Strait of Hormuz. After those ships failed to heed warnings to move away to a safe distance, the U.S. fired warning shots, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said at a news conference.

Kirby said six U.S. Navy vessels that were escorting the guided missile submarine encountered a group of 13 IRGCN "fast attack boats" as they were approaching the U.S. formation "at high speed, closing in as close as 150 yards."

"After following all the appropriate and established procedures involving ships: horn blast, bridge-to-bridge radio transmissions and other ways of communicating, the [U.S.] Coast Guard Cutter Maui ... fired approximately 30 warning shots from a 50 caliber machine gun," Kirby told reporters.

All the Iranian boats retreated after the second round of warning shots, he added.

Iranian "fast attack boats" are attack craft, a type of speedboat armed with machine guns.

It's not clear under whose direction they were operating, but harassment by the IRGC Navy targeting U.S. vessels is not a new thing.

On April 26, three Iranian fast inshore attack craft approached U.S. Navy vessels. After they failed to heed U.S. warning, the USS Firebolt fired warning shots and the IRGCN ships moved away to a safe distance.

Kirby warned, "This kind of activity could lead to somebody getting hurt, and could lead to a real miscalculation in the region, and that doesn't serve anybody's interests."

The Pentagon did not specify for what purpose the U.S. navy fleet was transiting the Strait of Hormuz. Located between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, it provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world's most strategically important choke points.

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