The U.S. Navy has released video showing the confrontation between the USS Thunderbolt and an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard patrol vessel in the northern Persian Gulf on Tuesday.
As gCaptain reported earlier, the U.S. Navy ship fired the warning shots when the Iranian vessel apparently came within 150 yards (137 meters) of the Thunderbolt, and had ignored radio calls, flares and the ship’s whistle.
In the first part of the video, presumably filmed from the deck of the USS Thunderbolt, the Iranian vessel can be seen closing in off Thunderbolt’s starboard when short horn blasts along with the gunfire can be heard. At the time of the incident, the Thunderbolt was accompanied by other Navy and U.S. Coast Guard vessels. The second part of the video, filmed from another vessel, shows the confrontation from a distance.
The incident is the first such incident since President Donald Trump took office in January. A U.S. official told reporters that the warning shots were fired after the Iranian vessel approached at high speed and ignored radio calls, flares and the ship’s whistle. See our earlier story here.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard issued a statement saying that an American “battleship” moved toward one of its patrol boats in international waters in the northern Gulf and fired two shots in the air, according to Sepah News, the official news site of the Guards.