BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:20 P.M.) – U.S. President Donald Trump has instructed members of the American Navy in the Persian Gulf to “shoot down and destroy” any Iranian boat harassing 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,” the U.S. President tweeted on Wednesday.
Trump’s tweet comes just days after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) intercepted a U.S. vessel as it was sailing through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf region.
Iran maintains that the IRGC’s Navy was protecting its territorial waters; however, Washington says their vessel was sailing in international waters.
Similar incidents have happened in the past, but this is the first time that Iran and the U.S. have come so close to one another in the Strait of Hormuz since Quds Forces commander Major-General Qassem Soleimani was assassinated near the Baghdad International Airport.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been at an all-time high since Soleimani’s assassination, with Iran becoming increasingly aggressive in their stance towards the U.S. presence in the region.