- 18 May 2019
- 9:53 am
An American assessment found it "very likely" that Iran was behind last Sunday's attacks on four tankers in the Gulf of Oman near the UAE's territorial waters, NBC News quoted three US officials as saying.
NBC News quoted an official as saying the United States had evidence, including photographs of damages and criminal evidence, linking Iran or its agents to Sunday's attacks against the four ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.
Officials said the four ships were bombed with what were believed to be improvised explosive devices.
A separate US intelligence assessment showed on Friday that the recent move to deploy US military forces in the region had had an impact on Iranian attitudes and behavior, according to the three US officials.
Officials said the United States was tracking Iranian sailboats passing through the Gulf and beyond, loaded with rockets and missile components, noting that tensions over the waterways in the region had declined in the past 24 hours.
"Deterrence appears to be working in some areas," one official said, but warned that Iran knew the United States was tracking its boats, so it might adjust its position to restore the element of surprise.
NBC News quoted US officials as saying tensions were rising in the Iraqi capital, where an unmanned drone was sent to the US Embassy in Baghdad.
A Foreign Ministry official confirmed the incident and said the embassy had returned to normal operations after security determined that the unmanned aerial vehicle posed no threat to the facilities or personnel.