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Threats in the Middle East

Iranian leaders have publicly stated that they will not allow other countries in the region to “take advantage” of their inability to sell oil. They have threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz and have postured military forces in efforts to intimidate the movement of international trade and global energy sources through the Strait of Hormuz. Intelligence indicates that Iran or its proxies acted on these threats.

In early May 2019, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attempted the covert deployment of modified small ships capable of launching missiles. On May 14, Iran-backed surrogates used armed drones to attack two strategically important oil pipelines into Saudi Arabia.

On May 19, a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and on May 31, a car bomb in Afghanistan wounded four U.S. service members, killed four Afghan civilians, and wounded bystanders. Iranian surrogates fired a missile into Saudi Arabia from Yemen, striking the arrivals terminal of an international airport, injuring 26 people on June 11.

Two days later, Iranian mines damaged two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. These attacks are only the latest acts in a 40-year pattern of violence by the Republic of Iran against the United States and its allies, and U.S. officials say restraint to this point should not be mistaken for lack of U.S. resolve.

“We continue to closely monitor intelligence sources in Iran and their proxies for further indications of impending attacks, and will continue to remain well postured to defend our U.S. force [and] our interests.” – Navy Adm. Michael Gilday, Joint Staff Director

Source: Department of Defense

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