November 19, 2019 / 6:14 PM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. aircraft carrier strike group sails through Strait of Hormuz

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WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln sailed through the vital Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, U.S. officials told Reuters, amid simmering tensions between Iran and the United States.

Tensions in the Gulf have risen since attacks on oil tankers this summer, including off the UAE coast, and a major assault on energy facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Washington has blamed Iran, which has denied being behind the attacks on global energy infrastructure.

The commander overseeing U.S. naval forces in the Middle East told Reuters in May that he would send an aircraft carrier through the Strait of Hormuz if needed.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Navy said the Lincoln transited through the Strait into the Gulf.

About a fifth of the world’s oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

The United States has deployed thousands of additional military forces in the Middle East, including bombers and air defense personnel, to act as a deterrent against what Washington says is provocative Iranian behavior. (Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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