Calling the actions of four Iranian boats, “unsafe and unprofessional,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis detailed an interaction that forced a U.S. Navy ship to fire warning shots as a helicopter dropped smoke grenades.

The USS Mahan fired three .50 caliber machine gun shots as a warning, which stopped the Iranian ships.

The incident took place in international waters near the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday when the ships of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy came at a U.S. destroyer at high rates of speed.

The destroyer, USS Mahan, fired three warning shots at the Iranian boats after their crews failed to respond to radio calls, flares and other signal warnings, eventually coming as close as 900 yards to the U.S. vessel.

“This was an interaction, and that’s due to the fact that they were approaching at a high-level of speed with weapons manned and disregarding repeat warnings via radio, audible sirens, ships whistle, and only stopped their approach following warning shots being fired,” said Capt. Davis.

Although he called the incident, “somewhat out of character,” the Pentagon spokesman noted that interactions of this kind had increased from 23 in 2015 to 35 in the past year, with the most recent firing of warning shots by the U.S. Navy against the IRGC occurring on August 24.

Last January, the IRGC seized two U.S. naval vessels and detained the crew within hours of President Obama’s final State of the Union address.

Secretary of State John Kerry called the release a diplomatic success, but it appeared to be a propaganda coup for Iran, which published photographs of the sailors, including one female, on their knees, hands clasped behind their heads in submission.

Iran later released videos of the U.S. commander apologizing and praising Iran for its treatment of his crew.

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