Four Iranian patrol boats fired warning shots across the bow of a Singapore-flagged merchant ship in the Persian Gulf on Thursday before it escaped into the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates, according to the U.A.E.’s coast guard.

“The ship sent a distress call to the U.A.E. Coast Guard forces that responded to the call and helped it to reach the Jebel Ali port,” the coast guard said in a statement.

The incident on Thursday began when Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps hailed the ship, which didn’t respond, according to a U.S. defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to disclose details. […]