JUST IN: US Navy sends warning shots to IRANIAN patrol boat

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JUST IN:  United States defense officials have told reporters that a U.S. Navy ship was forced to fire warning shots at an armed Iranian patrol boat on Tuesday when it came within 150 yards of the American ship in the northern end of the Persian Gulf.

It has been widely reported that the Iranian boat is said to have been operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to a defense official familiar with details of the incident.

“The Iranians did not respond to any warnings from the U.S. ship, including radio calls, firing of flares and five short blasts from the U.S. Navy ship’s whistle, which is the internationally recognized communications signal for danger,” the official told reporters.

Worried that the Iranian ship might try to ram directly into them, the U.S. Navy ship fired a series of warning shots into the water.  The warning shots appeared to work as the Iranian ship immediately stopped its provocative actions, although it remained in the area for several hours.

At the time of the incident, there were several U.S. Navy ships nearby conducting routine patrol operations in international waters, according to defense officials.

President Donald J. Trump has not commented on the event, but is scheduled to speak publicly at a rally tonight in Ohio.  He is also speaking to the press today at 3pm EDT, and is expected to be asked about the situation.

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