US will send F-16 jets to the Gulf after Iran seizes oil tankers
The United States aims to send F-16 fighter jets to the Gulf region after the Islamic Republic of Iran seized two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz last week, opening fire on one of them.
The United States will reportedly use its fighter jets around the Strait of Hormuz, a strait between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, to protect ships from Iran.
Reportedly, a senior defense official from the US said on Friday that his country is concerned about the growing ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia and Syria across the Middle East region.
The US defense official reportedly said that the F-16 fighter jets would give protection to the ships and vessels moving through the waterway and boost the military’s visibility in the strait.
Earlier, the US navy said that the Iranian naval vessels backed off when the USS McFaul, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy, arrived on the scene. The US responded to a call from Richmond Voyager, a Crude Oil Tanker currently sailing under the flag of Bahamas, after Iranian authorities stopped it.
Last week, the oil tanker, managed by United States oil company Chevron, was blocked by Iranian navy vessels. However, the Iranian vessels departed after McFaul arrived on the scene.
Later on, the Iranian authorities said that they received court orders to seize the Richmond Voyager because its collision with an Iranian ship injured five crew members. The Maritime Search and Rescue Center of Iran’s Hormozgan Province said that the Iranian authorities requested the tanker be seized.
The US Navy reportedly said, “Before McFaul’s arrival on scene, Iranian personnel fired multiple, long bursts from both small arms and crew-served weapons. The Iranian navy vessel departed when McFaul arrived.”
Last week, Rear Adm. Oleg Gurinov, the head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria, expressed concern about drone flights by the U.S.-led coalition over northern Syria.