Thursday, 28 August 2014

One for the "Really, Did You Have To?" File:

U.S. Coast Guard Preemptively Attacks an Iranian...Dhow?

A U.S. Coast Guard vessel operating in international waters in the Arabian Gulf  fired on an Iranian dhow in what U.S. military officials described as a defensive move after the crew of the Iranian vessel trained a machine gun on the Americans with hostile intent, the U.S. Department of Defense said. (If you were in a dhow, would you really train a machine gun of any consequence on a US ship of any size? BTW 1: personnel short of equipment often use the rangefinders on a small-bore rifle to check distances. BTW 2 The USCG is under the USDT not the USN; what does the Dept. of Transport have to say?- pub.)

 A statement issued by the U.S Fifth Fleet in Bahrain said the incident occurred as the Coast Guard was conducting a routine maritime security operation. (I didn't know the US coastline and coastal waters extended to the Arabian Gulf - pub.)

The American vessel fired a single shot at the dhow, but military officials said they did not know whether it hit the Iranian boat, which left the scene and did not communicate with the American crew. No U.S. personnel were reported injured. (If close enough to see someone holding a machine gun, then shouldn't the CO have hailed them first with a warning.  If not close enough to know if the shot fired hit the boat, then wouldn't the Iranian dhow been out of machine gun range? - pub.)

The inflatable Coast Guard boat had been dispatched from the USCG Patrol Boat Monomoy to query the Iranian dhow, a common approach in the Arabian Gulf intended to improve maritime security in the region. (Is it just me or does this conflict with previous statements? Someone telling "porkies"? - pub.)

U.S. military rules of engagement state that unit commanders always have the inherent right and obligation to exercise unit self-defense in response to a hostile act or demonstrated hostile intent. (What about common sense? - pub.)

Based on a Press Release  posted on World Maritime News (with independent commentary from the co-publisher).

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