USA warship opens fire at 'provocative' Iranian navy boat

Iran is the principle backer of Syrian President Bashar al Assad but denies that any of its professional soldiers are active in the country

While Votel did not name any of the rogue Iranian leaders specifically, Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani is a well-known anti-American provocateur who has claimed he is responsible for Iran's policy in the Middle East.

A separate incident August 24 resulted in a USA vessel firing three shots to "warn the Iranian craft away", according to the Pentagon.

A top U.S. commander sharply criticized recent high-speed maneuvers by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps patrol boats in the Persian Gulf that last week prompted a U.S. Navy ship to fire warning shots.

Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, said in an interview with the pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat in April that the mullahs' regime in Iran would collapse once Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is toppled. It is not, however, generally used in public statements, and Votel was at the Pentagon when making these comments, not deployed to Bahrain. "... If they continue to test us, we are going to respond, and we are going to protect ourselves and our partners".

Votel went on to praise the actions of American Naval personnel during these harassments. The United States and other countries are concerned about Iran's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, its ballistic missile program, and its backing for Shiite militias that have abused civilians in Iraq. Votel blamed the confrontations in the Gulf on a specific faction in the Iranian government that he said is trying to destabilize the region.

Unsafe confrontations between Iran and the U.S. Navy are becoming even more frequent than previously estimated, Fox News has learned.

This comes after two minor incidents in which Iran sent speedboats out into visual range of USA warships parked off the Iranian coast.

The Navy estimates about 10 percent of all its interactions with Iranian military vessels since the beginning of 2015 have been unprofessional.

Last Wednesday, the USS Squall, a coastal patrol ship, fired three warning shots on an Iranian boat that was approaching, head-on, another coastal patrol ship - the USS Tempest.

The data shows that there have been 11 provocative incidents since July alone, a testament to the rise in Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. Several US allies in the region, Arab states, prefer to call it he Arabian Gulf, and there have been military directives instructing US troops to use that term when deployed in the area. We acknowledge that all countries have the right to operate in global waters but they should do so in a responsible manner.



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