1000w q95 44 Official: US Navy ship fires warning shots near Iranian ship

A rigid hull inflatable boat from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) pulls alongside the coastal patrol craft USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) during a trilateral exercise between the U.S., Iraq and Kuwait. (Photo by Cmdr. Navcent Public Affairs)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – An American defense official says a U.S. Navy patrol boat fired warning shots near an Iranian naval ship during a tense encounter in the Persian Gulf.

The incident happened Tuesday and involved the USS Thunderbolt, a Cyclone-class patrol ship involved in an exercise with American and other vessels in the Gulf.

The official says the Iranian naval vessel came within 150 yards (137 metres) of the Thunderbolt. The official says the Iranian vessel did not respond to radio calls, flares and warning sirens, forcing U.S. sailors to fire the warning shots.

Iranian authorities did not immediately report the incident.

The American defence official spoke on condition of anonymity as the incident had yet to be made public.

Iran and the U.S. frequently have tense naval encounters in the Persian Gulf.

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