Tankers burn in Gulf of Oman off Iran after ‘reported attack’ – NBC News

An American-guided missile destroyer was sent to assist two burning tankers in the Gulf of Oman, following what the Trump administration on Thursday described as a “blatant assault” by Iran.

Following the attack that could further inflame tensions between Washington and Tehran, the USS Bainbridge was dispatched to help the damaged Japanese and Norwegian vessels, according to 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Josh Frey.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the weapons used and previous threats issued by Iran point to Tehran as the culprit.

“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,” he said.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute 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.”

“Taken as a whole these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran,” Pompeo said.

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