US navy fires at Iranian boats in the Gulf

April 26th, 2008 - 12:38 am ICT by admin  

Washington, April 25 (Xinhua) US officials Friday said a vessel contracted by the US Navy in the Gulf fired warning shots on two Iranian fast boats Thursday, but Iran denied the claims. The US ship Westward Venture, contracted by the US Military Sealift Command to carry military cargo to Kuwait, fired upon the boats after attempts to get the Iranian boats’ attention failed, FOX News quoted Pentagon sources as saying.

A US navy security team, armed with M16 rifles and machine guns, was onboard the Westward Venture at the time the warning shots were fired. The ship was about 80 km off the coast of Iran when the fast boats approached.

The Westward Venture had attempted to make bridge-to-bridge contact to warn the fast boats that they were too close. The US ship then blew its whistle and fired flares before finally firing warning shots with the machine gun when the boats came too close.

Bridge-to-bridge communication was established after the shots were fired, with someone claiming to be the Iranian Coast Guard contacting the Westward Venture.

The Pentagon suspected that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG) was also involved.

However, Iran rejected US claims. IRG officials told the Iranian Press TV that there has been no such incident.

Iranian navy officials also said on another Iranian television that they didn’t have a confrontation with the US ship and the Westward Venture, may have fired on a non-Iranian vessel.

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