The U.S. Navy says that the Iranian ship did not respond to radio calls, flares and horn blasts
U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS Stethem arrives for a scheduled port visit in Shanghai, China. The USS Stethem in the South China Sea sailed near a tiny island disputed by three Asian governments as part of an operation affirming the right to passage, a U.S. defense official said Sunday, July 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul Traynor, File), photo: AP/Paul Traynor, File
6 months ago
DUBAI – A U.S. Navy patrol boat fired warning shots Tuesday near an Iranian vessel that U.S. sailors said came dangerously close to them during a tense encounter in the Persian Gulf. Iran's hard-line Revolutionary Guard later blamed the U.S. ship for provoking the incident. The encounter involving the USS Thunderbolt, a Cyclone-class patrol ship based in Bahrain as part of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, is the latest confrontation between Iranian vessels and U.S. warships. The Thunderbolt was taking part in an exercise with U.S. and other coalition vessels in international waters when the Iranian patrol boat approached it, 5th Fleet spokesman Lt. Ian McConnaughey said. The Iranian ship did not respond to radio calls, flares and horn blasts as it came within 150 yards (137 meters) of the Thunderbolt, forcing the U.S. sailors aboard to fire the warning shots, McConnaughey said. "After the warning shots were fired, the Iranian vessel halted its unsafe approach," the lieutenant said in a statement, adding that the Iranian vessel created "a risk for collision." Large ships can't stop immediately on the water, meaning getting close to each other risks a collision.