U.S. Envoy Urges Answer ‘Short of War’ to Gulf Attack on Tankers

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said a thorough investigation of this week’s attack on ships in the Persian Gulf should be followed by a reasonable answer “short of war,” according to remarks published on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were sabotaged as they were approaching the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important choke point for oil shipments. The United Arab Emirates said two other vessels were also damaged. There has been no claim of responsibility and neither country identified the suspected culprits.

The incident comes amid rising tension in the Gulf between Iran and the U.S and its Arab allies after the Trump administration re-imposed economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Iran has condemned the attack.

“We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened, and then come up with reasonable responses short of war,” U.S. Ambassador John Abizaid was quoted as telling a group of Saudi publications in Riyadh.

“We certainly know that the ships were damaged. They were damaged by outside action of some sort," Abizaid said, according to Arab News.

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