The U.S. Navy fired warning shots on three Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) patrol boats in the north Persian Gulf Tuesday, after verbal warnings by U.S. forces were first ignored.
Fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) were used to approach the USS Firebolt and U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Baranoff, at what Naval officials called “an unnecessarily close range with unknown intent.”
After warnings by the U.S. vessels through radio and loud-hailer devices went ignored by the Iranian patrol boats, the USS Firebolt warning shots – prompting the vessels to retreat.
A Navy official said U.S. forces used “pre-planned responses” to de-escalate the situation, avoid collision and reduce risk of miscalculation.
“The IRGCN’s actions increased the risk of miscalculation and/or collision, were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) ‘rules of the road,” a Naval spokesman said in a statement Tuesday.
“U.S. naval forces continue to remain vigilant and are trained to act in a professional manner, while our commanding officers retain the inherent right to act in self-defense,” they added.