Tags: Iran | Trump Administration | pentagon | oil | tanker attacks | photos | evidence

Pentagon Photos Bolster Claims Iran Behind Tanker Attacks

the japanese oil tanker suspected of being victim of Iran attack
An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman on Thursday, June 13. (ISNA/AP)

By    |   Monday, 17 June 2019 07:40 PM

The Pentagon released new color photos and a timeline to bolster its charge Iran was behind an attack on two commercial oil tankers last week in the Gulf of Oman, multiple news outlets reported Monday.

The images released by U.S. Central Command show an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Ghashti-class patrol boat alongside the Kokuka Courageous during, and after, the removal of an unexploded mine that had been left on the ship's hull, ABC News reported.

There are also close-up photos showing the ring around which magnets had attached the mine to the ship, as well as composite residue from the mine still on the ship's hull. 

Additional photos from the Pentagon show the holes caused to the two commercial tankers by the mines, ABC News reported.

"Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine," according to a statement accompanying the photos, Bloomberg news reported.

According to Bloomberg, the Pentagon took the unusual step of identifying the source of the imagery — a Navy MH-60R surveillance helicopter that can fly and hover as it gathers imagery at lower altitudes than drones or maritime patrol craft.

One of the officials briefing reporters said damage to the ships did not appear to have been caused by a torpedo because those typically strike below the water line, unlike the mines placed above the water line in last Thursday's attack, Bloomberg reported.

In a tweet with pictures, Defense One reporter Ben Watson wrote: "This hardly appears to be an attempt to sink the tanker; rather a nuisance attack, and an apparently quite sloppy one undertaken with multiple U.S. surveillance assets in the area."

Although the U.K., Saudi Arabia, and Israel have backed the Trump administration's assessment Iran's Revolutionary Guard was behind the attacks, domestic critics and some U.S. allies — including Germany and Japan — have demanded more evidence.

Last Friday, U.S. Central Command released a grainy video showing what it claimed to be a crew aboard an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boat removing an unexploded mine left on the ship's hull.

"The German foreign minister has seen a great deal more than just that video," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CBS's "Face the Nation." "He will continue to see more."

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New color photos and a timeline were released by the Pentagon to bolster its charge Iran was behind an attack on two commercial oil tankers last week in the Gulf of Oman, multiple news outlets reported Monday.
pentagon, oil, tanker attacks, photos, evidence
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2019-40-17
Monday, 17 June 2019 07:40 PM
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