Small Wars Journal

Gulf of Oman Tanker Attack Update

U.S. Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks, Holds Off on Military Response by Leo Shane III – Military Times

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of attacking a pair of oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday as part of a “unacceptable campaign of escalating tension” by its leaders, but said the United States won’t respond with military force for now.

“This is only the latest in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against America and its allied interests,” Pompeo said in brief public statement hours after the attacks. “They should be understood in the context for 40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom loving nations.

He labeled the actions “a clear threat to international peace and security and a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation.”…

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In Gulf of Oman, Tankers Are Struck Again, Raising Fears of Wider Conflict by David D. Kirkpatrick, Richard Pérez-Peña and Stanley Reed – New York Times

Explosions crippled two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday in what the United States called “unprovoked attacks” by Iran, raising alarms about immediate security and potential military conflict in a vital passageway for a third of the world’s petroleum.

Iran called the accusations part of a campaign of American disinformation and “warmongering.”

The explosions forced the crews of both vessels to evacuate and left at least one ablaze, and hours later the causes were still under investigation. Yet the backdrop of steeply rising threats between President Trump and Iranian leaders gave the stricken ships a grave significance even before the facts became clear.

By afternoon, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that American intelligence agencies had concluded Tehran was behind the disabling of both ships. He pointed to the weapons used, the expertise and resources required and the similarity to other recent attacks attributed to Iran…

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