Pentagon officials have confirmed that a U.S. Navy warship fired warning flares at four Iranian vessels in international waters near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
U.S. Defense Department officials told journalists on January 9 that the incident occurred on January 8, when the four fast-attack vessels approached the U.S.S. Mahan at high speeds.
They said the guided missile destroyer fired warning flares and a U.S. helicopter dropped a warning signal into the water when the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) vessels reportedly came within 800 meters of the U.S. ship.
The incident happened less than two weeks before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is due to take office on January 20.
In September, during the U.S. presidential election campaign, Trump said that any Iranian vessels harassing U.S. Navy ships in international waters would be "shot out of the water" under his leadership.