President Trump on Wednesday announced that he had issued very clear instructions for any U.S. Navy ships facing trouble at the hands of the Iranian gunboats – destroy them.
“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 after a recent tense encounter in the Persian Gulf.
The troublesome encounter happened last week when six U.S. Navy warships were conducting drills with US Army Apache attack helicopters in international waters off Iran last Wednesday. The warships were repeatedly harassed by 11 Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Navy vessels, the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet reported.
According to Fox News, “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 U.S. crews responded by issuing multiple warnings via radio — including five short blasts from the ships’ horns and long-range acoustic noise maker devices, but received no response from the IRGCN, the Navy’s 5th Fleet said in a statement.”
It took approximately an hour of this before the Iranian vessels finally responded to U.S. radios, and then increased the distance by maneuvering away from U.S. ships according to the Navy
The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Wednesday praised President Trump’s tough response to Iran.
“I like that the president warned an adversary,” Vice Chairman Gen. John Hyten told reporters Wednesday. “That’s what he’s doing. He’s providing a warning.”
Hyten added: “If you want to go down that path, we will come and we will come large.”
The Navy said that the Iranian’s dangerous and provocative actions “increased the risk of miscalculation and collision” and were in violation of international maritime “rules of the road.”
The Navy also said they were not in accordance with international law to act safely with other vessels in the area.
The U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Army have been conducting joint interoperability operations in the Gulf since March.
The president has maintained a powerful stance toward Iran while his predecessor sent them pallets of cash to virtually fund their nuclear program.
Earlier this month, the president sent another serious warning to Iran, after it became apparent that Iran was planning some sort of a “sneak attack” on American troops in Iraq.
“Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq. If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!” Trump tweeted.
Earlier this month that the U.S. believed Iranian-backed proxies were planning the sneak attack, and that Trump’s tweet was a warning to the Iranian leadership to tell their proxies to back down or face consequences.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have grown in recent months as the Islamic regime persists as a thorn in the side of the much larger and more powerful United States.