The US military has blamed the Iranian elite unit for damage sustained by four commercial ships off the shore of the United Arab Emirates but gave no proof of their claims while the nature of the incident remains unknown.
“The attack against the shipping in Fujairah we attribute it to the IRGC,” Rear Admiral Michael Gilday, the director of the Joint Staff, told journalists, using the acronym for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Two weeks ago four vessels were damaged in waters near the UAE emirate of Fujairah. No details were given about casualties and the local government denied reports about an explosion at an oil terminal in a local port.
The Emirates’ foreign ministry described it as “sabotage” without giving any further information about its nature or the damage to vessels sailing under the Emirati, Saudi, and Norwegian flags and has remained tight-lipped since then.
Gilday said that limpet mines were used during the attack supposedly launched by the Revolutionary Guards. He declined to comment on the possible “means of delivery” of the mines nor did he explain why he believed the mines were used in the first place.
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The Emirates’ foreign ministry never mentioned Iran in its statements linked to the incident. It called for unity among the Arab nations in the face of these “delicate circumstances” and welcomed international help in the investigation of the alleged “sabotage.” The Arab nations are expected to discuss the incident at an emergency summit which will convene in Mecca on May 30.
However, US officials were quick to note that it is attacks like this, which supposedly are part of some sort of a “campaign” waged by Tehran, that justify the deployment of additional US troops to the Middle East. On Friday, President Donald Trump announced Washington would send 1,500 troops to the region for “protective” purposes.'
Read more: Pentagon claims Iran’s Revolutionary Guards behind ship ‘sabotage’ off UAE coast as Abu Dhabi mum