Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. believes Iran was responsible for attacks that damaged two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf. American forces found an unexploded mine on one of the damaged vessels.
A fireball erupted on the Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair after a suspected torpedo attack caused three explosions, forcing the crew to abandon ship.
Sailors on the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous also had to flee after it was hit by another explosion, in a pair of apparent attacks today which have left the Middle East on high alert.
‘It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,’ Pompeo told reporters at the State Department.
‘This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to executive the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.’