Five Iranian ships fire shots in the Persian Gulf

In an attempt to stop a ship, five Iranian ships fired shots across the bow of a Singapore flagged cargo vessel.  The incident occurred on Thursday and has only increased the already rising maritime tension in the Persian Gulf.

According to CNN, which first reported the story, “It is not yet clear if any of the rounds hit the Alpine Eternity. There were no U.S. citizens or cargo on board. The Pentagon is still gathering information about the incident.  The incident began when five small fast boats, believed to be manned by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy approached the cargo vessel just off the coast of the United Arab Emirates but in international water, the official said.”

The CNN report further states that the incident began when Iranians attempted to order the ship into Iranian waters.  A U.S. official claimed that when the ship refused to comply with the Iranian demands the Iranians began firing to disable the ship.  The ship was hit by several bullets, but was not disabled and was able to flee into UAE waters.

This incident occurred not long after the Pentagon announced it would no longer use the U.S. Navy to escort commercial ships through the Strait of Hormuz.  It is not yet known if the Pentagon will re-instate the U.S. naval security after this incident.

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