Trump on Twitter tells US Navy to ‘shoot down and destroy’ Iranian boats that harass US ships
It is unclear whether Trump’s tweet amounts to a standing order and whether the central command, which oversees operations in the Middle East, would fire on an Iranian ship. Such an order would further increase the possibility of a miscalculation between the two long-standing enemies, who nearly went to war earlier this year after the United States killed a senior Iranian military commander.
CNN contacted the Pentagon and the White House for further comments.
The video of the incident appears to show several ships flying the Iranian flag, men occupying guns at the front of these ships, passing in front of a US Navy ship. The guns do not seem to be aimed at the ship, which rang several times when the Iranian ships approached.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps admitted on Sunday that an incident had occurred, but dismissed the American version of the events as a “Hollywood fake tale,” in a news release released by the news agency. Iranian.
About half an hour before Trump tweeted on Wednesday, “Fox & Friends,” which Trump regularly watches, aired a segment on the incident, as well as a report on Iran launching its first military satellite into orbit. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran said the launch was successful, although CNN was unable to independently verify it.
This story has been updated to include additional background information.
CNN’s Barbara Starr, Sara Mazloumsaki and Ramin Mostaghim contributed to this report.