Shootings in the Perian Gulf;

Glassfan

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Apparently a US Navy supply ship fired upon a fishing boat off the coast of Dubai;

Spoiler :
A small boat approaches a US Navy ship in the Persian Gulf. The US Navy ship fires warning shots to alert the small boat to stay clear, and when it doesn’t comply, the US Navy ship opens fire on the boat. One unarmed fisherman is killed, and two others are wounded.

These are the details that have emerged thus far from yesterday’s incident, between the USS Rappahannock – a refueling ship with US Fifth Fleet – and a tiny fishing boat registered to a company in the United Arab Emirates, but manned by Indian nationals. Both the US Navy and the government of the UAE have promised an investigation, and the US State Department has offered its condolences to the families of the killed and wounded.

The Persian Gulf is one of the busiest commercial sea lanes in the world. About 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports passes through the Strait of Hormuz, and commercial fishermen still ply these waters to supply fish to the increasingly wealthy citizens of both sides of the gulf. The chances of US navy ships, Iranian naval ships, and commercial vessels coming into close proximity are great.

The US State Department said that the Rappahannock had opened fire on the fishing boat only as a last resort."An embarked security team aboard a US navy vessel fired upon a small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the US ship near Jebel Ali," the State Department statement said. Jebel Ali is a port city in the UAE.

"The US crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel's operators to turn away from their deliberate approach,” the statement said. "When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-calibre machine gun."

While firing on a small fishing boat may seem excessive, it was precisely this kind of scenario that US Navy planners fear the most in tense times like this. In October 2000, a small boat packed with explosives rammed into the USS Cole while it was refueling in the Yemeni port of Aden, killing 17 sailors. In May, a US military drone strike killed the suspected Al Qaeda militant who is believed to have organized the attack on the USS Cole

US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell conveyed her condolences to the Indian families of the killed and wounded, and promised an investigation. And India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it would request an investigation by both the US and the UAE governments.


Spoiler :
DFI: Indian Defense and Security Analysis, 17Jul12

DUBAI: An Indian fisherman was killed and three others were wounded on Monday when a US navy ship fired at their small boat off Dubai in the tense waters of the southern Gulf, officials said.

US defense officials said the motorboat had ignored warnings not to approach the refuelling ship USNS Rappahannock, and that sailors on board the American vessel feared it could pose a threat.

"Since 2000, we've been very concerned about small boats," a defense official in Washington said, referring to the year of a deadly suicide bomb attack against the destroyer USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.

A United Arab Emirates official said one fisherman was killed and three other Indians were wounded.

"The services concerned are now investigating this incident," foreign ministry official Tareq Amed al-Hidan said, quoted by state news agency WAM.

A statement from the US Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain and on alert for possible Iranian action in Gulf waters, said the crew had opened fire as a last resort.

"An embarked security team aboard a US navy vessel fired upon a small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the US ship near Jebel Ali," it said, referring to an Emirate port city.

"The USNS Rappahannock used a series of non-lethal, preplanned responses to warn the vessel before resorting to lethal force," it said.

"The US crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel's operators to turn away from their deliberate approach," it added.

"When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-calibre machine gun."



Spoiler :
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea.

An Indian fisherman who was aboard a boat shot at by the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf has told officials that his crew did not receive any warning before the attack.

One Indian was killed and three others were wounded Monday when the U.S. Navy refueling ship fired on the fishing vessel. U.S. officials say the small boat had ignored repeated warnings and rapidly approached the U.S. vessel.

Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said Tuesday it was unfortunate that a fisherman was killed in the incident. He said his government is in contact with India's ambassadors in Washington and Dubai and that the United Arab Emirates is investigating the incident.

The United States has been expanding its forces in the Gulf as it seeks to increase pressure on Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

On Tuesday, Iran said the recent shooting incident showed that foreign forces threatened regional security.

.

Obviously an unfortunate accident, but more like this will probably occur as the West ramps-up pressure on Iran and it's nuclear program.

Comments?
 

overkill9

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Was the fishing ship captain playing dare with his shipmates to see who would have the balls to steer the boat closest to a military ship?

They should have known any military ship operating there would be suspicious of small fast approaching boats that ignores orders to not interfere in its operations. This is like a case of a man waving red flag infront of a herd of bulls and trying to blame the bull for goring him while bull is still a bull trained to gore people.
 

Cheezy the Wiz

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An unfortunate incident, but from the vague description of the event I see no wrongdoing on our behalf. Don't pilot your boat too close to a naval vessel from another country while at sea, and don't continue to go towards them after they fire at you.

Unless it surfaces that they were approaching the naval vessel for some sort of emergency, this is a non-story.
 

FriendlyFire

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Indian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf ?
 

Formaldehyde

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The US Navy clearly has a right to defend itself against unwarranted attacks by fish hooks. They could put an eye out.
 

wilycoyote

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Let's see. A USN boat in a part of the world that has a history of sending small boats with explosives at their boats (USS Cole)? A small boat approaches and doesn't respond to vocal nor lead warnings to turn around? Yeah, nothing to see here.
 

MobBoss

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everyone who could be carrying a bomb is a legitimate target. apparently.

Does the USS Cole mean anything to you?

You just to drive at speed at a US warship and not expect something like this. I mean really.
 

History_Buff

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Yeah, I'm assuming these guys wouldn't just open up on them out of nowhere. It's a near certainty there were warning shots, and quite possibly dudes on bullhorns shouting at them as well.

Unless an investigation turns particularly incriminating, looks like the USN guys did the right thing. Just a shame it had to end this way.
 

r16

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so easy ... Egyptians having the gall to complain about the guys who come from the Gulf for a holiday and buy a 13 years old girl for a month or so . Dude returns home , she is kinda discarded for life . Gulfers assume this is lack of balls from US and make their fishing crew run to the closest USN ship . News here say 4 Indians with 3 from UAE on board .
 

Glassfan

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Fishing boat.JPG

Yes, the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 certainly comes to mind. New procedures on American and NATO ships have been put into place for self-protection.

USS Rappahannock.JPG

I suspect, the problem is with civilian vessels, like the fishing boat, which are unaware of these defense procedures, and have something of a tradition of spontaneous approach-and-trade with other boats in the Gulf.

Map.JPG

If Iran makes good on it's threat to "Close down the Gulf", then there's going to be a lot more violence there. Remember the Stark incident? The Vincennes Incident? The constant firefights between Iranian gunboats and NATO ships trying to keep the Gulf open?
 

WindFish

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What else did you expect them to say? "Oh, yeah, we got some warnings, but hey, who needs em?"

They could have said that the US boat acted in a way that could be perceived as warning the fishermen instead of doing the age old American tradition of shooting first.
 
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