Trump tweets he’s ordered Navy to destroy Iranian gunboats


WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid tensions with Iran, President Donald Trump said Wednesday on Twitter he has given orders for the Navy to “shoot down and destroy” any Iranian gunboats found to be harassing U.S. ships.

A U.S. Navy video last week showed small Iranian fast boats coming close to American warships as they operated in the northern Persian Gulf near Kuwait, with U.S. Army Apache helicopters.

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

Trump did not cite a specific event in his tweet, or provide details. The White House had no immediate comment.

The U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet referred questions about the tweet to the Pentagon, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump’s tweet came after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it had put the Islamic Republic’s first military satellite into orbit, dramatically unveiling what experts described as a secret space program with a surprise launch Wednesday that came amid wider tensions with the United States.

The launched immediately raised concerns among experts on whether the technology used could help Iran develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.

On Sunday, the Revolutionary Guard acknowledged it had a tense encounter last week with U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, but alleged without offering evidence that American forces sparked the incident.

The Guard and the Navy routinely have tense encounters in the Persian Gulf and its narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20% of all oil passes.

___

Jon Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.



Source link

Trump instructs U.S. Navy to destroy Iranian gunboats ‘if they harass our ships at sea’




FILE PHOTO: Four Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels, some of several to maneuver in what the U.S. Navy says are “unsafe and unprofessional actions against U.S. Military ships by crossing the ships’ bows and sterns at close range” is seen next to the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton in the Gulf April 15, 2020. U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

April 22, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had instructed the U.S. Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass it at sea, a week after 11 vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to U.S. ships in the 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,” Trump wrote in a tweet, hours after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps said it had launched the country’s first military satellite into orbit.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Susan Heavey; Editing by Toby Chopra)





Source link