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War Drums: US moving dozens of submersibles to Persian Gulf

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US moving submersibles to Persian Gulf to oppose Iran

WASHINGTON — The Navy is rushing dozens of unmanned underwater craft to the Persian Gulf to help detect and destroy mines in a major military buildup aimed at preventing Iran from closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the event of a crisis, U.S. officials said.

The tiny SeaFox submersibles each carry an underwater television camera, homing sonar and an explosive charge. The Navy bought them in May after an urgent request by Marine Gen. James Mattis, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East.

Each submersible is about 4 feet long and weighs less than 100 pounds. The craft are intended to boost U.S. military capabilities as negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program appear to have stalled. Three rounds of talks since April between Iran and the five countries in the United Nations Security Council plus Germany have made little progress.

Some U.S. officials are wary that Iran may respond to tightening sanctions on its banking and energy sectors, including a European Union oil embargo, by launching or sponsoring attacks on oil tankers or platforms in the Persian Gulf. Some officials in Tehran have threatened to close the narrow waterway, a choke point for a fifth of the oil traded worldwide.

The first of the SeaFox submersibles arrived in the Gulf in recent weeks, officials said, along with four MH-53 Sea Dragon helicopters and four minesweeping ships, part of a larger buildup of U.S. naval, air and ground forces in the region aimed at Iran.

The U.S. already has sent two aircraft carriers and a squadron of F-22 fighters to the Persian Gulf, and is keeping two U.S. army brigades in Kuwait. Though much of the buildup has been publicly acknowledged by the Pentagon, the deployment of the submersibles has not been publicly disclosed, apparently to avoid alerting Iran.

The SeaFox is small enough to be deployed from helicopters and even small rubber boats, but it also can be dropped off the back of a minesweeper. It is controlled by a fiber optic cable and sends live video back to a camera operator.

It can be used against floating or drifting mines, which Iran has used in the past. It operates up to 300 meters deep, and moves at speeds of up to six knots. But the $100,000 weapon is on a what amounts to a suicide mission. The “built-in, large caliber shaped charge” it carries destroys the mine but also the vehicle itself.

http://latimesblogs....ppose-iran.html

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lmfao, love the map. I don't blame Iran.

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"Each submersible is about 4 feet long and weighs less than 100 pounds"

Pound those war drums laff.

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"Each submersible is about 4 feet long and weighs less than 100 pounds"

Pound those war drums laff.

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Iran is manipulating the Earth's lithosphere/tectonic plates to move themselves closer to the US so that in ten billion years they might be close enough to hit them with a SCUD missile, clearly this is a sign of war.

Bombs away!

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Well the troops just got out of Iraq... what would the US do without 2 simultaneous Middle-Eastern wars? Actually work on things like their economy? HA!

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Well the troops just got out of Iraq... what would the US do without 2 simultaneous Middle-Eastern wars? Actually work on things like their economy? HA!

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GChiOfCEht4

US Navy Fires on Ship in Persian Gulf, One Dead

An American Navy ship fired on a boat in the Persian Gulf today, killing one person and injuring three others aboard the craft, a U.S. naval official told ABC News.

A spokesperson for the Navy's 5th Fleet, which is based in nearby Bahrain, said that a security team aboard the oil supply ship U.S.N.S. Rappahannock fired a .50 caliber machine gun at a "small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the U.S. ship" off the coast of Jebel Ali, a city approximately 30 miles from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The Navy is investigating the incident as details continue to emerge. A Navy official said the offending vessel was a white pleasure craft, but a UAE official told ABC News it was a fishing boat with four Indians and two Emirates on board. There doesn't appear to be any indication the incident was terror-related, the UAE official said.

The Navy official said it's not uncommon for Iranian speed craft to harass U.S. ships in the region, but in this case the boat wasn't Iranian.

"I can't emphasize enough that this has nothing to do with Iran," the official said.

American sailors are trained to take special caution of any vessels that appear to be approaching their warships. In 2000 the destroyer U.S.S. Cole was attacked off the coast of Yemen by al Qaeda terrorists who used a small private craft armed with explosives to ram the ship, killing 17 American sailors.

Word of the shooting comes on the same day that the Pentagon confirmed that it had agreed to a recent request from U.S. Central Command to maintain a two carrier presence in the Middle East.

The carrier U.S.S. John C. Stennis has been ordered to head to the region four months ahead of schedule in September to replace the outgoing U.S.S. Enterprise. A Pentagon spokesman said the Stennis is being sent so that there is no gap in between two carrier assignments to the region.

On Sunday, the U.S.S. Eisenhower replaced the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in the region. By replacing the Enterprise, the U.S. will now be able to avoid having just one carrier in the region.

The U.S. Navy usually rotates one of its two carriers into the Persian Gulf while the other operates in the Arabian Sea providing air support for the war in Afghanistan.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/us-navy-fires-ship-persian-gulf-dead/story?id=16787035#.UARsMY6hDzI

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Let's get this war in Iran going already Obama, this economy and my oil stocks aren't going to fix themselves. Plus, what a great way to forget about the troubles in the Euro zone.

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USA are war starters. Attacking oil rich countries, but staying away from Countries with no oil. Bunch of losers. They will get it coming in the near future. It's Karma. You can't attack other countries without consequenses.

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USA are war starters. Attacking oil rich countries, but staying away from Countries with no oil. Bunch of losers. They will get it coming in the near future. It's Karma. You can't attack other countries without consequenses.

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I really hope Iran takes out as many American soldiers as they can. We all know USA is starting wars and killing innocent peoples.

Corrupt nation, corrupt leaders, retarded citizens. Yeah spending all the taxpayers money to fund the military sure has done worked well. Hopefully Russia and China take out USA the quicker the better!!!!!!!

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I really hope Iran takes out as many American soldiers as they can. We all know USA is starting wars and killing innocent peoples.

Corrupt nation, corrupt leaders, retarded citizens. Yeah spending all the taxpayers money to fund the military sure has done worked well. Hopefully Russia and China take out USA the quicker the better!!!!!!!

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USA are war starters. Attacking oil rich countries, but staying away from Countries with no oil. Bunch of losers. They will get it coming in the near future. It's Karma. You can't attack other countries without consequenses.

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I really hope Iran takes out as many American soldiers as they can. We all know USA is starting wars and killing innocent peoples.

Corrupt nation, corrupt leaders, retarded citizens. Yeah spending all the taxpayers money to fund the military sure has done worked well. Hopefully Russia and China take out USA the quicker the better!!!!!!!

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Let's get this war in Iran going already Obama, this economy and my oil stocks aren't going to fix themselves. Plus, what a great way to forget about the troubles in the Euro zone.

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Update to the vessel that was fired upon:

Indian fishermen say U.S. boat fired without warning

(Reuters) - Indian fishermen who survived a hail of gunfire from a U.S. navy boat off the coast of the United Arab Emirates disputed U.S. claims that their boat drew fire after ignoring warnings to steer clear of the American vessel.

One Indian was killed and three others injured on Monday when the USNS Rappahannock, a refueling ship, fired on the fishing vessel, which the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet said approached at high speed and ignored repeated warnings.

The incident highlighted the potential for a rapid escalation of tensions in Gulf waters, where U.S. forces are expanding their presence as Washington ramps up pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.

The fishermen, hospitalized with gunshot wounds after the incident near Dubai's Jebel Ali port, said on Tuesday that they received no warning before the U.S. craft opened fire, and that their craft had attempted to avoid any contact with it.

"We had no warning at all from the ship, we were speeding up to try and go around them and then suddenly we got fired at," 28-year-old Muthu Muniraj told Reuters from hospital, his legs punctured by the rounds of the U.S. craft's .50-caliber gun.

"We know warning signs and sounds and there were none; it was very sudden. My friend was killed, he's gone. I don't understand what happened."

A Fifth Fleet spokesman, Lt. Greg Raelson, asked whether the identification of the craft as a fishing boat made the threat cited by the Navy less likely, said an internal inquiry into the incident had not finished.

"Non-lethal measures were taken while attempting to signal the vessel," he said, adding that the fishing craft did not respond. "That was when the security team fired rounds from the .50-caliber ... Our ships have an inherent right to self-defense against lethal threats."

The United States has been particularly wary of attacks on its ships since two al Qaeda suicide bombers rammed an explosives-laden boat into the USS Cole in 2000, blowing a massive hole in its side and killing 17 U.S. sailors.

In Monday's incident, other members of the boat's crew, which consisted of six Indians and two Emiratis, said their boat had come under fire as it returned from trawling in waters off Jebel Ali.

"We were fishing and then on the way back they started shooting at us, so many shots, like a storm," said 35-year-old Muthu Kannan, who had a gunshot wound to the abdomen and a lower leg wired into place with metal rods.

"This is not the first time for us to go out in the boat and we all know what a warning is," said 26-year-old Pandu Sanadhan. "All I can remember is a lot of shooting."

ASSURANCES

An Indian government spokesman said he had assurances that Washington would provide a full account of the incident, and the Indian foreign ministry said it had no position on the issue of whether the fisherman were warned before the shooting.

But in the UAE, Indian ambassador M.K Lokesh told Reuters after meeting with the fishermen: "Obviously if they were warned they would not go close to such a big vessel. Even if shots were fired in the air, these fishermen would have moved away."

Asked if the Indian government would press for legal charges to be lodged against the U.S. sailors involved, he said: "We have to wait for the inquiry to be completed by the Dubai police before we move any further. But we are pushing for quick completion for the investigations."

Some Indian media appeared to blame the United States for the incident; one television channel ran headlines reading "Murder on the High Seas" and "No Regret, No Apology from America". In a statement, the U.S. embassy in New Delhi expressed its condolences to the families of the boat's crew.

Iran said the incident threatened to further destabilize a region already shaken by the international dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, which Washington and its allies believe is geared to make bombs.

Tehran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons and has repeatedly threatened to close the Gulf's outlet, the Strait of Hormuz through which 40 percent of the world's sea-borne oil exports are carried, if threatened over its nuclear plans.

"We have announced time and again that the presence of foreign forces can be a threat to regional security," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said during a news conference broadcast on state television.

The U.S. Navy said in February that Iran had built up its naval forces in the Gulf and prepared boats that could be used in suicide attacks.

"They have increased the number of submarines ... they increased the number of fast attack craft," said Vice Admiral Mark Fox, commander of U.S. naval forces in the region.

"Some of the small boats have been outfitted with a large warhead that could be used as a suicide explosive device. The Iranians have a large mine inventory."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/17/us-usa-uae-ship-idUSBRE86G0AX20120717

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Irans government is just as bad. The soldiers from both sides are just doing their job and don't deserve to die. You would rather have Russia and China run the world? Wow count me out of that idea, obviously you haven't seen their track record.

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Well all the countries the USA has gone to war with have been no angels themselves. Iraq first aggressed for oil before the US and then got attacked in turn. Although for the wrong reasons the second time, but to me Saddam had it coming either way. Most governments are bad but I would prefer the US in power than Russia and China. That's for sure.

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