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US Releases New Photos of Iran Mine Attack in Gulf, Sends More Troops to Middle East

US Releases New Photos of Iran Mine Attack in Gulf, Sends More Troops to Middle East

Tuesday, 18 June, 2019 - 05:00
The US releases new images of the IRGC removing an unexploded limpet mine from oil tankers that were attacked last week in the Gulf of Oman. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
The United States military released on Monday new images of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) removing an unexploded limpet mine from oil tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman last week.

“Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine,” the US military’s Central Command said in a statement explaining the still-images.

The Maxar Technologies satellite photos show both the Front Altair and the Kokuka Courageous.

The Front Altair caught fire in the explosion last Thursday. The satellite photos of the Front Altair show "extensive damage to the starboard side of the tanker caused by the explosion and fire on the ship,” said Maxar.

Later, US officials announced that the Pentagon was sending about 1,000 additional American troops to the Middle East, as commanders try to bolster security for forces and allies in the region from a growing threat from Iran.

"The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region," said acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement.

The deployment includes security forces and troops for additional surveillance and intelligence gathering in the region, said officials.

The new US deployment to the Middle East is in addition to a 1,500-troop increase announced last month in response to tanker attacks in May.

Washington previously tightened sanctions, ordering all countries and companies to halt imports of Iranian oil or be banished from the global financial system.

Iran said on Monday it would soon breach limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile under the deal, which a White House National Security Council spokesman said amounted to "nuclear blackmail."

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