Official: Initial US assessment blames Iran for ship attacks

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WASHINGTON (AP) – A U.S. official says an American military team’s initial assessment is that Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies used explosives to blow large holes in four ships anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

The official says each ship has a 5-to-10-foot hole in it, near or just below the water line. The U.S. military team assesses that the holes were caused by explosive charges.

The UAE asked the U.S. to help investigate the damage, which Gulf officials have characterized as sabotage.

The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. has warned ships that “Iran or its proxies” could be targeting maritime traffic in the region, and America has moved additional ships and aircraft into the region.

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