President Donald Trump has announced that he has sent orders for the Navy to “shoot down and destroy” any Iranian gunboats found to be doing wrong with US ships.
Donald Trump said in a tweet, “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,”
I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2020
Donald Trump has not referred to any specific incident in his tweet. No comments have been given from the White House.
Michael Mulroy, who served as the Pentagon’s Middle East policy chief until December said, “The U.S. Navy has clear rules of engagement issued by the chain of command and reviewed to ensure they are consistent with all applicable laws of the sea and armed conflict,”
“Any Iranian actions that directly threaten our naval vessels and their crew will be dealt with based on those rules of engagement.”
Mulroy also said that “harassment” was not defined as a direct threat. Otherwise, “we would be shooting at a lot of Russian planes,” he noted while referring to regular incidents of Russian jets bustling US aircraft.