A U.S. Navy warship fired warning shots at three small Iranian speedboats that came within 70 yards of it and a Coast Guard cutter operating in international waters in the Persian Gulf on Monday, according to the U.S. Navy, ABC News reports.
The incident Monday night occurred as three Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) speedboats approached the U.S. Navy patrol craft USS Firebolt and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Baranoff operating in the northern Persian Gulf.
The three Iranian boats rapidly approached the two American ships at what a U.S. Navy spokesperson called "an unnecessarily close range, with unknown intent" coming as close as 68 yards to both ships.
"The U.S. crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and loud-hailer devices, but the IRGCN vessels continued their close range maneuvers," said Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokesperson for the Navy's 5th Fleet, which oversees U.S. Naval operations in the Middle East.
"The crew of Firebolt then fired warning shots and the IRGCN vessels moved away to a safe distance from the U.S. vessels," she added.