• Jharad McClung Lester

Trump Orders Navy to "Shoot Down and Destroy" Iranian Boats

Picture Credit: Matt Rourke/AP

President Trump issued a stark warning to Iran and the Iranian military Wednesday morning, instructing the U.S. Navy to "shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats" if they harass U.S. ships at sea. "I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our [U.S.] ships at sea," Trump tweeted. Trump's announcement came one week after the Navy released video footage showing Iranian navy boats conducting continuous "dangerous and harassing approaches" toward U.S. ships operating in international waters, swarming the Navy and Coast Guard ships for nearly an hour. Despite several radio warnings and blasts from the ships' horns, the Iranian boats came within 10 yards of the Coast Guard's Island-class cutter Maui and within 50 yards of the Lewis B. Puller, according to officials.

On Sunday, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps acknowledged what had taken place but claimed the U.S. version of events to be "a fake Hollywood tale." They claimed the US was at fault with "unprofessional, provocative behavior."

It is still unclear if whether the President's tweet amounts to a standing order. Such an order would raise the possibility of a possible miscalculation, as this event has caused even more tension between the longtime foes.

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