The United States military is investigating alleged sabotage attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington, said US military was asked to get involved
"A CENTCOM [US Central Command] official confirms to Al Jazeera that, at the request of United Arab Emirates, the US military is helping with their investigation."
The incident on Sunday comes amid growing tensions in the Gulf and a war of words between the US and Iran.
The four ships – two Saudi, one Norwegian and one Emirates ̵
The incident happened 140km south of the Strait of Hormuz, where about one-third of all oil traded by sea passes through
|Norwegian-flagged oil tanker MT Andrea Victory off the coast of Fujairah [UAE National Media Council via AP]|
Details of the alleged sabotage remained unclear, and UAE officials declined to say who they suspected was responsible.
US President Donald Trump warned Iran if it does "anything" in the form of an attack it will "suffer greatly."
US military plan
On Monday, the New York Times reported the top US defense official has presented an updated military plan to Trump's administration that envisions sending up to 120,000 troops to (19659004) Citing unnamed administration officials, the Times said Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented the plan at a meeting of Trump's top security aides on Thursday
Tensions between Iran and the United States have intensified since Trump pulled out a 2015 international deal to curb Iran's nuclear activities and imposed more and more severe sanctions on Tehran. to force Tehran to agree on a broader arms control agreement and has sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombs to the Gulf in a show of force against which US officials have said they are threats to US troops in the region
Iran has said the US is engaging in "psychological warfare," and called the US military presence "a target" rather than a threat and said it would not allow its oil exports to be halted
The Times said among those attending the Thursday meeting were Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford