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Trump: if Iranian ships get too close 'we'll shoot them out of the water'

U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Navy ships will shoot Iranian gunboats that get too close “out of the water,” President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, after 11 vessels from Iran’s elite fighting force came dangerously close to American ships in the Gulf.

“We’re not going to stand for it. If they do that that’s putting our ships in danger and our great crews and sailors in danger - I’m not going to let that happen. And we will - they’ll shoot them out of the water.”

“That’s a threat. When they get that close to our boat, and they have guns, they have very substantial weapons on those boats, but we’ll shoot them out of the water.”

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Sandra Maler