Trump instructs Navy to destroy Iranian gunboats ‘if they harass our ships’

Trump made the threat after Iranian speedboats came too close to U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf. 

By World Israel News Staff

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

The warning comes a week after 11 boats of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Navy sped close to U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf.

IRGCN vessels repeatedly “crossed the bows and sterns” of four Navy and two Coast Guard ships in the Persian Gulf as they were conducting joint operations with U.S. Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, the U.S. 5th Fleet reported.

Only after an hour of ignoring multiple bridge-to-bridge radio and sound warnings did the Iranian ships finally back off.

Iranian Navy tactics frequently rely on small, fast boats to swarm and take over larger vessels. It used this method in July of last year when it seized a British-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero. Speedboats raced around the tanker ordering it to change direction toward Iran. A helicopter then dropped Iranian forces onto the ship, taking control.

Trump’s announcement came shortly after Iran announced on Wednesday that it had successfully launched a military satellite into space.

Earlier this month, Trump said that Tehran should expect a bold U.S. response if Iran or Iranian-backed groups attack American forces or assets in Iraq.

He made those remarks at an evening White House briefing in response to  intelligence that his administration had received that Iran was planning a strike.

Tensions with Iran rose to new heights following the targeted assassination of Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Qassem Soleimani in January.