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US Navy Destroyer Fires Warning Shots At Iranian Ship

| by Ray Brown

A U.S. Navy destroyer fired warning shots at four Iranian military vessels on Jan. 8, U.S. defense officials said.

The three warning shots were aimed at vessels of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as they traveled through the Strait of Hormuz and came within 900 yards of the U.S.S. Mahan, the U.S. Navy destroyer, Reuters reports. The ship was escorting two other U.S. ships, according to the report.

After shots were fired, a U.S. Navy helicopter dropped a smoke float on the Iranian fast-attack vessels.

In addition to the warning shots, CNN reported that when the Iranian boats came too close to the Mahan, the ship emitted flares, bells, whistles and radio calls. No injuries were reported during the incident.

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In recent months, U.S. and Iranian military vessels have been involved in several close calls.

In November 2016, a U.S. Navy helicopter had what U.S. Navy officials described as an "unsafe and unprofessional encounter,” reported CNN, as it flew over a Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps patrol boat in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps trained a weapon on the helicopter, but didn't fire.

The helicopter had been escorting the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier out of the Persian Gulf.

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During the 2016 presidential election, then-President-elect Donald Trump told campaign supporters that he would take a strong hand with the Iranian military in the Persian Gulf.

“With Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water, OK? Believe me," Trump told the crowd in September 2016, reported ABC News. 

Sources: Reuters, CNN, ABC News / Photo credit: U.S. Navy

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