US Coast Guard Fires at Iranian Sailboat in Persian Gulf

Pentagon: Iranians 'Demonstrated Hostile Intent'

Literally thousands of miles away from any US coast, the US Coast Guard fired what officials are calling a “warning shot” against an Iranian dhow in the Persian Gulf. No casualties were reported.

The dhow, a type of sail-powered trading vessel common in the Indian Ocean and surrounding area, had two .50 caliber machine guns mounted on it for defensive purposes, and one of the guns was manned when the Coast Guard vessel approached it in what officials are calling a “routine maritime security operation.”

The Pentagon insists they concluded the crew “demonstrated hostile intent” and fired at the dhow, though whether it was actually hit is not known. The dhow did not fire on the Americans at all.

Iran has yet to comment on the incident, but it underscores the problems of having a significant US Naval presence parked off the Iranian coast for some future war, and the trigger-happy nature of US troops approaching any Age of Sail-era shipping vessels they happen to see in the Gulf.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.