A U.S. Navy warship was harassed by four Iranian boats in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, according to a top naval officer.
The American ship responded by sounding its whistle and fired flares into the air, the Associated Press reported.
A U.S. defense official says the Iranian boats approached the Nitze at high speed, in an unsafe manner. The official says the destroyer fired ten flares in the direction of the Iranian boats and sounded the ship’s whistle, but the boats ignored the warnings until they were within 300 yards of the U.S. ship.
The American ship, the guided missile destroyer USS Nitze, was in international waters in the Strait of Hormuz. The incident raises concerns about the increasing competition the U.S. is facing at sea, according to the chief of naval operations, Adm. John Richardson.
A Navy official confirmed that the four Iranian ships belonged to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Fox News reported. The official said that the Nitze, accompanied by the guided missile destroyer USS Mason, was making a "routine transit" in international waters when the Iranian boats arrived. The Nitze then tried to make radio contact 12 times and received no response before sounding its whistle.
The Navy official said the Iranian ships "created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation."