U.S. Military: Condolences, Criticism to Iran After Friendly-Fire Strikes Ship, Kills 19

Aerial photograph showing damage from an anti-cruise ship missile striking the Iranian navy vessel Konarak

The U.S. military offered condolences on Thursday to the Iranian people for the “tragic loss of life” after a friendly fire incident killed 19 Iranian troops when an anti-cruise ship missile struck the Iranian navy vessel Konarak, near the port of Jask.

The Konorak was about 790 miles southeast of Tehran in the Gulf of Oman when the incident occurred.

Along with the condolences, criticism was also given as the incident occurred close to the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow passage of the Persian Gulf where 20% of all oil passes.

“We are troubled that this mishap occurred in such close proximity to a high-traffic international shipping lane and at a time when most of the region’s focus is on the fight against COVID-19, the unnecessary loss of life is regrettable,” said Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command.

In April the U.S. accused Iran of dangerous and harassing maneuvers near US Warships in the Persian Gulf. President Trump withdrew the U.S. from Tehran’s nuclear deal two years ago, which created more pressure for Iran, pushing arch-rivals toward potential conflict.

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