Trump Instructs Navy to 'Destroy' Hostile Iranian Gunboats

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Posted: Apr 22, 2020 8:34 AM
Trump Instructs Navy to 'Destroy' Hostile Iranian Gunboats

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday that he instructed the U.S. Navy to “destroy” hostile Iranian gunboats. 

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” he said. 

The move comes after an incident in the Persian Gulf last week between U.S. warships and Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Navy vessels. 

Six U.S. Navy warships were conducting drills with US Army Apache attack helicopters in international waters off Iran last Wednesday when they were repeatedly harassed by 11 Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Navy vessels, the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet reported.

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 Navy also reported that the USS Paul Hamilton, USS Firebolt, USS Sirocco and USCGC Wrangell, as well as the Puller and Maui, were involved in the exercises.

The U.S. crews responded by issuing multiple warnings via radio—including five short blasts from the ships’ horns and long-grange acoustic noise maker devices, but received no response from the IRGCN, the Navy’s 5th Fleet said in a statement.

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, according to the Navy. (Fox News)

According to the U.S. Navy, Iran’s actions last week “increased the risk of miscalculation and collision” and also violated international maritime “rules of the road.”

Conservatives praised the president’s announcement.