President Trump Orders Navy to 'Destroy' Iranian Boats that Harass US Vessels

23 Avril, 2020, 00:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • President Trump Orders Navy to 'Destroy' Iranian Boats that Harass US Vessels

Earlier in the day, the president met with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Oval Office to discuss COVID-19 testing.

President Donald Trump abruptly tweeted early today that he has directed the Navy to fire upon Iranian "gunboats" hassling USA ships at sea in a new sign of heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

His comments, in an interview with the semi-official ISNA news agency, came after Trump said on Twitter he had "instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea".

The encounter happened last week.

The Navy last week released photos and a video showing the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' navy boats making what the service described as repeated "dangerous and harassing approaches" near US ships operating in worldwide waters.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps later admitted to the encounter but said, without providing evidence, that the USA was to blame.

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. Iran retaliated by launching ballistic missiles on US troop locations in Iraq, leaving more than 100 service members with brain injuries.

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

Iranian Navy tactics frequently rely on small, fast boats to swarm and take over larger vessels.

The US ships responded by sending warnings through bridge-to-bridge radio and blasting horns. It has done the same to oil tankers and even seized one last summer.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran said that it had put a military satellite into orbit for the first time, a surprise move that comes amid ongoing tensions with the United States.

In response, the US carried out a strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Trump has raised the issue of Iranian boats allegedly harassing American vessels in the past.

Washington claimed that Soleimani visited the country because he was purportedly planning attacks on American embassies in the region.

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