President Trump said Wednesday that he’s instructed the United States Navy to “shoot down and destroy any Iranian gunboats harassing American ships”
The tweet is a response to an encounter with Irans Navy in the Persian Gulf
I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2020
The encounter last week in the persian golf involved 6 U.S. navy Warships which were conducting drills with the U.S. Army. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet reported harrasement by 11 Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Navy vessels.
The Iranian ships repeatedly crossed in front and behind the U.S. vessels at extremely close range and high speeds, including multiple crossings of one ship, the Puller, with a 50-yard closest point of approach and within 10 yards of another ship, the Maui’s, bow, a 5th Fleet statement said.
The United States crews responded with multiple warnings via radio and blasts from the ships’ horns.
After approximately an hour, the Iranian vessels responded to the radio queries, before maneuvering away from the U.S. ships and increasing the distance between them
In a statement the U.S. Navy said these actions “increased the risk of miscalculation and collision” and were in violation of international maritime “rules of the road.”